While the process of digitalization in the public sphere leaves a lot to be desired, Czechs have been exceptionally fast in jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to using digital services, be it Internet banking, shopping over the Internet or communications with firms and institutions online.
The number of Czechs using Internet banking has risen by 1.8 million to 5.5 million people in the past 5 years, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office. A decade ago the number was just 1.5 million. While older Czechs may have needed some time to overcome a certain reticence and security concerns, 88 percent of Czechs aged 25 to 34 who have grown up in the digital age manage their money online and consider internet banking an essential service.
Today 7.1 million Czechs – i.e. 81 percent off Czech households - are connected to the Internet and the number of Czechs using Internet banking has reached 63 percent, a figure that is above the EU average of 54 percent and higher than in many other European countries.
Four out of five of those who do not have an Internet connection say they do not want one. In the vast majority of cases this concerns senior citizens no longer interested in learning the skills or mistrustful of internet banking. The number of people using smart phones has also soared. Seven out of ten Czechs have a smart phone and in the 16 to 24 age bracket it is 99 percent of Czechs. In 2010 just four percent of Czechs had a mobile internet connection, today it is two thirds of the population.
Today 59 percent of Czechs shop over the Internet, up from 25 percent a decade ago. And a growing number of Czechs no longer use their bank card to make payments, opting to use their smart phone or smart watch. The number of Czechs who do so has jumped to 18 percent from just eight percent last year and is expected to grow further.
As regards social networks 54 percent of Czechs over 16 use them, which is 17 percent more than five years ago, and more or less reflects the EU average.