The health crisis is amplifying long-term social trends that are transforming the way people work and consume, creating new opportunities for Edenred.
way for a post-Covid world
A more digital, mobile and contactless world
The global shift to digital that has been underway for some time is picking up speed. Once seen as a growth driver, digitalization has now also become a means of survival for some.
The trend toward digitalization and the automation of economic activity affects many areas of both business and consumer life, including innovation, social media, connectivity, data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Companies in all industries can leverage digital technology to grow sales, smooth production flows, build awareness and influence, enhance quality and logistics processes and streamline administration.
The current health and economic crisis has accelerated the digitalization process and profoundly altered how people at work interact with their markets and stakeholders – and with each other.
- 30 % of consumers use the payment services of a Big Tech firm(1). More than 38% say they found a new payment provider during the lockdown
- 4 billion e-wallet users by 2024 (versus 2.3 billion in 2019)
- >5 billion mobile phone users worldwide
- 55 % of corporate interactions with customers took place digitally in 2020 (versus 36% in 2019)
- >60 % of global GDP digitalized by 2022
(1) Large multinational technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Alibaba.
A digital leader, Edenred has made this trend one of the drivers of its growth and innovation strategy. In 2020, 86% of its business volume was digital. Today, the Group offers mobile payment programs in 22 countries, and the bulk of its 250 programs and solutions covering basic needs have already gone paperless. The transition primarily concerns its employee benefits programs, where digitalization grew by 9 points in Europe in 2020, and its fleet and mobility solutions, which are now fully digital.
Changing work practices
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, work practices were changing. But the crisis has clearly given a boost to this transformation, with home working now the new norm for many jobs. Familiar to independent workers and appreciated by employees, the practice is now making its way into the corporate world. In the United Kingdom, for example, 37% of employers expect that their staff will continue working partially from home after the crisis, compared with 18% before. Likewise, 42% of German companies plan to keep offering employees the choice to work from home in the future. A hybrid model combining remote and on-site working has begun to emerge. The trend is more pronounced in developed economies and among employees in the service sector. Merchants located near office buildings and public transportation are feeling the impact of these changes and will need to make proportionally large adjustments to adapt to the situation.
- 75 % of service-sector employees worked from home
- 39 % of total worktime was spent remotely, all sectors combined
68 % of employees in the United Kingdom would like to work more from home, compared with 67% in Germany, 66% in Italy and 63% in France.
- >20 % of jobs could be performed remotely at least three days per week (three to four times more than before the pandemic)
- >36 % of total worktime could be spent outside companies’ regular offices
71 % of organizations expect their workers will permanently relocate outside of big cities
Edenred’s goal is to make life easier for people at work, while improving the efficiency of organizations. The health crisis has highlighted the vital role that the Group’s digital solutions can play in making it easier for millions of users around the world to work from home.
Edenred’s lunch break solutions, for example, offer employees greater flexibility since, even when they are required to work from home, they can eat what they want, when they want and where they want (restaurant, takeout, home delivery), thanks to food stores and over 100 online partnerships in 16 countries, primarily with delivery platforms. Edenred’s largely paperless solutions make the organization of remote working simpler for employees and for employers, who can continue to reward, incentivize and retain their workers with a wide range of benefits. These include more responsible business travel solutions based on public transportation, bicycling and carsharing.
A world seeking more responsible behavior
The health crisis has increased public awareness of the need for a healthier, more responsible way of life. Green citizenship addresses important environmental issues and redefines consumer behavior with regard to production techniques, distribution methods and even design processes. The question is no longer whether to act more responsibly, but rather how and where to do so, and at what price. User choices are not determined by individual needs alone but by collective considerations as well, factoring in sustainable consumption, the potential for positive impacts (green mobility, local production, short supply chains), and responsible consumer habits (sorting, recycling, giving things away, buying second-hand, renting). As a result, products and services are being redesigned to integrate socially responsible concerns (ecological, organic, fair trade, local), with a renewed focus on life cycle (from producer to consumer).
Nearly 90% of French, Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian consumers want brands to commit to sustainability or help them consume better
Global CO2 fossil fuel emissions decreased by 7% in 2020
73% of the French population wants to consume more responsibly in this period of crisis
In addition to providing solutions that have, from the outset, made it easier to access potentially healthier, local and environmentally friendly food, the Group promotes good eating habits through programs such as FOOD (Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand), which has been implemented in ten European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden).
Environmental protection and sustainable development are other important issues for the Group, which has made it a priority to contribute to the circular economy by developing its solutions using an eco-design approach, such as Ticket EcoCheque in Belgium.
By generating business for partner merchants, Edenred supports local economic development, job creation and social inclusion.
Further enhancing its socially responsible approach, Edenred has developed eco-services that reconcile user purchasing power and environmental stewardship.
A world where digital payments are swiftly gaining ground
The payment practices of users, companies and merchants underwent a seismic shift in 2020, reflected in a boom in e-commerce and the widespread adoption of online, contactless payments.
From day one of the crisis, a portion of local trade switched online, making digital payment the new standard.
Companies, too, need reliable, secure, long-term solutions that they can access remotely in order to simplify and optimize their organization, account management and B2B transactions. In North America, for example, nearly 50% of supplier payments are still made by check.
47 % of companies worldwide have been bit by fraud over the last 24 months
- 50 % of corporate payments in North America are still made by check
- +12 % p.a. : estimated growth in global non-cash transactions between 2019 and 2023
Edenred is increasingly digitalizing its portfolio of innovative services in order to automate and streamline B2B payments, simplify relationships and interactions with users and facilitate payments to merchants. It offers cloud-based accounts payable platforms that save time and reduce management costs. Thanks to the shift to digital, the Group has positioned itself as an innovative fintech with expertise in designing flexible, secure solutions. The advantages for corporate clients are precision, efficiency, traceability and security.