Do you use the cellphone Banking? If so, congratulations – you are a minority. Only 1 in 8 Bulgarians have such a service on their phone or computer.
And if you use that Internet – which would make sense if you were reading this article – you are doing it from one of the worst connected areas in Europe.
This is shown by Eurostat data on the digital society. In fact, the second indicator, the low percentage of online users, derives many of the other results associated with low online service consumption.
It is important to note that the vast majority of the data were as of May 2020, i.e. have partially, but not completely, captured the trend towards the accelerated digitization of the country due to Covid.
In the northeast region of Bulgaria, for example, only 5% of consumers use mobile devices Banking. The results are similar in South Central, Northwestern, and Southeastern – about 7%. The difference is significant compared to the southwest region, which includes Sofia, where the percentage rises sharply to 24%.
The Scandinavian countries form the opposite pole in Europe – the regions with the highest proportion of consumers with mobile banking are in Norway, Denmark and Finland.
The explanation lies on the one hand in the delivery. This service is a relatively new phenomenon: Most banks have only had mobile applications for a few years and are using them as a complete solution in an even shorter time. Bulgarian Banks, like their consumers, are relatively slow to accept changes, in contrast to the steadily growing number of fintech companies in the country, which, however, focus on foreign markets.
On the other hand, there is the problem of demand: Bulgarian Consumers are predominantly older and traditionally conservative, especially those who have a trust problem in banking services themselves (after two crises with bankrupt banks, more understandable).
Bulgaria is lagging behind in another online niche – online shopping. Although in this case the data is not up to date due to the coronavirus, North-Center, Southeast, South-Center and Northwest are the only four regions in the EU where less than 30% of people shopped in 2020 in the 12 months online before the study. The South West region is again best represented and the declaration is again Sofia.
A recent poll by Trend this year shows that 56% of Bulgarians have never ordered anything online. Interestingly, a survey of online users conducted only by Nielsen and Capital this year shows that almost everyone in the country has access to the Internet has experience with online shopping.
To like Banking, Again, the explanation can be divided into two parts – supply and demand. Very few on the supply side Bulgarian Businesses sell on the Internet. For example, deputy prime minister for EU funds Atanas Pekanov recently cited data that this is only 5% of small businesses. On the demand side in Bulgaria, The elderly, in particular, fear fraud and cannot do well online, and physical commerce continues to dominate. In the NSI questionnaire, the most common answer is “I prefer to shop in person”.
According to the trend, the proportion of non-buyers among those over 70 years of age is 96% and among younger people (under 25 years of age) less than 20%.
According to NSI data, only 24% of people over 65 years of age use the Internet at least once a week. The combination of an aging population and low access to the Internet condemns Bulgaria to slower entry into online services. Europe is currently divided as follows: the further north you travel, the more likely it is that you will pay your bills over the phone instead of at the counter. And the question of why the aging population is not so active on the here Internet like their sets in the north is the subject of another study.