How could Bucharest earn USD 400 M annually?

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Businesses, authorities and consumers in Bucharest would get net benefits worth USD 400 million (RON 1.5 billion) per year if digital transactions in the capital city increased by 10 percentage points, according to the results of “Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments” study conducted by Roubini ThoughtLab  and commissioned by Visa, a press release informs.

The study estimates that relying more on electronic payments, such as cards and mobile payments, could yield a net benefit of up to USD 470 billion per year across the 100 cities studied – roughly the equivalent to 3 percent of the average GDP for these cities.

The estimated total benefits would rise to USD 1.7 billion (RON 6.5 billion) per year if Bucharest reached the maximum “achievable level of cashlessness”, meaning that 95 percent of the payments should be digital.

By reducing reliance on cash, the study estimates the immediate and long-term benefits for three main groups—consumers, businesses and governments.

About 50 percent of the total payments made in Bucharest are currently cashless, and in the case of the top 10 percent digital payment adopters, the percentage reaches 95 percent. Estimated benefits for companies amount to USD 900 million, for government authorities to USD 600 million, and for consumers to nearly USD 100 million.

Consumers across the 100 cities could achieve nearly USD 28 billion per year in estimated direct net benefits. Businesses across the analysed cities could achieve more than USD 312 billion per year in estimated direct benefits. At the same time, the governments could achieve nearly USD 130 billion per year.

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