Published on Monday, September 28, 2020 | Updated on Saturday, October 10, 2020

Toward a Contact-Free Economy

The study analyzes the most relevant Contact-Free trends that have been reconfiguring our lives, that during the period of confinement and physical distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated, and that will probably retain a strong dynamism in the coming years.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Greater digital inclusion in the world and between age groups and by gender
  • Adoption of digital payments at a faster pace: more contact-free technologies, less cash
  • Acceleration of e-commerce trends: the future of retail
  • Slow recovery of the experience economy and more digital experiences
  • More remote work from home. Growth of distance education in schools and universities. Toward the raise of Telemedicine?

Documents to download

With the world’s growing technological and telecommunications advances over at least the last three decades, the daily processes of individuals, businesses, governments and the academic and social sectors have been changing to incorporate these advances, not just to increase productivity and reduce costs, but also to increase interactions and links between people.

Today, in the difficult international situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing rules to contain the spread of the disease, economic agents who supply and demand goods and/or services have had to accelerate the incorporation and adaptation of the use of technology into the production, distribution and consumption phases, in order to be able to interact with less contact between people.

It is therefore important to talk about the role of the contact-free economy not only as a temporary tool to allow some economic activities to continue during the pandemic but as a system that, once implemented, is part of the new reality of a society with and without contact. In a broad sense, the term refers to economic activities carried out without physical contact between people, whether in person or remotely. In particular, the contact-free economy becomes more important when analyzing the transition to contact-free forms or substitutes of various economic activities and sectors that traditionally were carried out with physical contact between people. This paradigm takes place within the context of constant technological, cultural and social changes and having received a strong boost due to the pandemic.

Given the above, we have published this study Toward a Contact-Free Economy, analyzing the most significant trends in a contact-free economy that have reconfigured our lives during the lockdown and subsequent period of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that will probably retain a strong impetus in the coming years. These trends are: 1) greater digital take-up in the world and among age groups and by gender, 2) use of digital payments growing at a faster rate, more contact-free technologies and less use of cash, 3) acceleration of e-commerce as the future of retailing to consumers, 4) slow recovery of the experience economy and more digital experiences, 5) more remote working from home, 6) growth of distance education in schools and universities, and 7) a rise in telemedicine.

While it is true that this social distancing phase caused by COVID-19 will come to an end, we hope that the results seen from accelerating our move toward a contact-free economy will lead to more efficient production, distribution and consumption processes than before this pandemic.




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