Ever since March of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the entire world into isolation, sparking a global and digital change in our livelihoods. Essentially, every process, habit, or activity that once depended on in-person interaction was forced into an online environment, and humans have thus adjusted the way they live their lives to account for the virus’s dangers and the new regulatory laws implemented by governments everywhere.
Mandatory shutdowns and social distancing have left gaps which were essentially fulfilled by digitization – and we essentially owe our functionality over the past few months to modern technology. On this basis, we list below 4 things that have gone digital as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Cashless payments and digital banking
Over the course of the pandemic, the online banking experience rapidly spread around the world; the substitution of in-person banking for digital transactions has greatly intensified and currently allows people to make entirely contactless transactions.
Nearly every store worldwide is now equipped with cashless systems that will enable all clients to pay ‘digitally’, via a digital wallet system.
In fact, the lockdown has led to a 72% rise in the use of FinTech apps in Europe, indicating that an increasing number of establishments as well as consumers are geared towards the utilization of digital banking and cashless payments for all of their transactions, which are effectively far more COVID-safe than their former alternative.
Digital Restaurant Menus
As part of restaurants’ and bars’ efforts to adjust to the pandemic, many have switched to digital menus and forwent reusable menus in order to meet the demand for increased customer and employee protection.
Menus – which are by far the most bacteria-infested item on a restaurant table – contain 185,000 bacteria per square centimeter, around 16 times more than the 2nd-most germ-infested item, pepper shakers. As a result, replacing them with a virtual solution – accessible by each customer on their own devices – became an absolute necessity.
However, there are clear signs that digital menus will persist even after the pandemic has passed, as indicated by high consumer satisfaction – a trend described in this article by Digital Trends!
Contact tracing and QR codes
Over the first few months of the outbreak, different establishments utilized manual contact tracing tools (paper forms) – a technique that was not-so COVID-safe itself.
The inconvenient and time-consuming design of such a process has inevitably given way to the use of a QR code – a digital version of the COVID-19 tracing form that allows users to automate their information.
Restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops can connect their QR codes to a Google form or website that keeps track of customer entry and activity as well as their contact information in the event that anyone tests positive.
Moreover, QR codes have allowed anyone with a smartphone to easily access information of all sorts, ranging from restaurants and hospitality to government and safety information. Essentially, QR codes have become a way for companies to convey their brand stories to their customers.
Embedded SIM cards
The year 2020 highlighted the importance of communication in our lives, and this year will be no different. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed how we function as well as how companies operate, causing hundreds of millions of people and businesses all over the world to ‘go digital’ in order to resume any resemblance of normalcy in their lives. It’s incredible to consider how staying in touch with one another during the pandemic has only been made possible thanks to technological components that are a fraction of the size of your fingernail.
eSIM (embedded SIM cards) continues to play a large role in our ever-changing digital worlds, amplifying connectivity from our smart devices. Since the pandemic geared us towards less physical interaction, the increase of demand in eSIM has been truly remarkable.
Acquiring an eSIM does not require you to leave your home, nor does it require you to go through your local service carrier to obtain it. You can easily purchase and install one online – thus demonstrating how convenient it is for everyone, especially frequent travellers.
Note, however, that not all devices support eSIM – thus, ensure that your phone is compatible with eSIM before purchasing one!
COVID-19’s ramifications have greatly boosted digital adoption. New habits have emerged as a result of the increased use of technology for work, play, and staying connected. As many countries recover from the pandemic, it is now time to start anew and adopt a new business model in order to revamp business operations and meet the new digital demands that have arisen.