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Digital

Buzzword “Digital“: Global interconnection, dramatically increased computing power and the spread of portable multi-purpose mini-computers, the smartphone, over the last years have initiated far-reaching societal and economic changes. The topic thus surged to the top of the agenda in business, politics, media and research. The feedback of technological developments to socioeconomic processes is certainly not new but rather on the contrary runs like a thread through human history. However, the potential implications of current rapid progress in particular in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics together with the proliferation of platform- and data-based business models are so far-reaching that both optimists and pessimists offer wild speculations on how this could influence the societies and economies of tomorrow. But what will turn out to be lasting developments, short-lived hypes or simple exaggerations?

44 (11-20)
January 27, 2020
Topic:
This piece is the third in a series of three pieces that examines the past, present, and future of the payments industry. We analyse the unexpected results of our proprietary survey of 3,600 customers across the US, UK, China, Germany, France and Italy and forecast trends in cash, online, mobile, crypto, and blockchain. The implications for customers and business are important; the potential macro and geopolitical consequences are profound. [more]
11
January 23, 2020
Topic:
This piece is the second in a series of three pieces that examines the past, present, and future of the payments industry. We analyse the unexpected results of our proprietary survey of 3,600 customers across the US, UK, China, Germany, France and Italy and forecast trends in cash, online, mobile, crypto, and blockchain. The implications for customers and business are important; the potential macro and geopolitical consequences are profound. [more]
12
August 22, 2019
Region:
The digital transformation has enriched societal discourse through new forms of multilateral communication, but it has also amplified the spread of misinformation, echo chambers and propaganda, offering authoritarian states new means of surveillance and control. How democracies approach this challenge will be a key factor in their performance, given intensifying competition among political systems. [more]
15
July 22, 2019
Analyst:
Facebook’s Libra project aims to establish both a private digital currency backed by a basket of hard currencies and a global payment network. It is thus challenging many established players in the financial system, including central banks, credit institutions and payment providers. Facebook can integrate Libra services into its digital platforms and benefit from strong network effects. In Europe, Libra would enter a competitive but fragmented digital payments market. As a currency, Libra will carry a foreign exchange risk for Europeans. But if the ECB drove interest rates deeply below zero, Libra could offer an easy digital way out. The flipside, though, would be a loss of sovereignty for Europe. [more]
16
July 2, 2019
Analyst:
By providing a high degree of privacy in payments, cash helps to slow the growing information asymmetry between consumers and companies as well as between citizens and public authorities. As knowledge about your counterparty is power, privacy is crucial for individuals to safeguard their position when dealing with organisations which are more powerful than a single person. [more]
17
June 4, 2019
Region:
Analyst:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a significant step forward in the digitalisation and transformation of modern businesses. Investors are lining up to be part of the imminent change. AI attracted USD 24 bn in investments globally in 2018, a twelvefold increase since 2013. Within Europe, Germany, France and the UK are the frontrunners in experimentation and in the implementation of AI. Similar to earlier examples of information technology (IT) implementation in financial services, AI promises great efficiency gains and potential revenue increases and its potential contribution to bank profitability should not be underestimated. [more]
18
May 21, 2019
Region:
Digital taxation is currently a subject of intense debate and since large digital companies are widely thought to pay inappropriately low taxes, policymakers remain under pressure to act. However, all approaches which are based on the taxation of revenues instead of profits have major flaws. As digital services expand into ever new areas of the economy (‘smart everything’), the risk of a far-reaching, arbitrary taxation of entrepreneurial activities is increasing. Disruption, the buzzword of the digitalisation discussions, may become an issue in international tax policy, too. In addition to an (international) digital tax, minimum taxes are one of the concepts under discussion. [more]
19
March 26, 2019
In the competition for global leadership in technologies like artificial intelligence, most observers see a two-horse race – between China and the United States. But what about Europe? Can it ever catch up to the galloping favorites? It won’t be easy. The digital economy in the United States has big advantages: a large domestic market, a risk-taking investment culture, and plenty of innovative companies and world-class universities. US tech giants were first-movers out of the gates, and used the network effects of the platform economy to dominate not only the US, but many other markets worldwide. [more]
20
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