Spain Emerges as Pivotal Player Within EU’s Digital Strategy

Spain digital engagement

Their hometown heroes have reached the Champions League football final, and Spain is near the top of the table in PYMNTS Intelligence’s How The World Does Digital report. Capturing a statistically representative sample of 817 million consumers, Spain is among 11 countries included in the study, joining European neighbors France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the UK, among others. These surveys assess digital behaviors across 11 pillars of digital engagement, such as banking, shopping, communication, and entertainment.

Spain’s digital infrastructure is well-developed, supporting widespread digital engagement. According to the report, Spain boasts high broadband connectivity, with 92% of households connected and an impressive average broadband speed of 218.8 Mbps. This solid foundation facilitates various digital activities, making digital payments and online processes accessible and efficient for Spanish consumers.

Spanish consumers exhibit a strong preference for digital payments, aligning with global trends observed in the PYMNTS report. The use of card-based methods dominates both online and in-store transactions. For online purchases, 61.1% of Spanish consumers use card-based payments, while 20.7% prefer mobile wallets. This preference for digital over traditional methods like cash or checks highlights a significant shift towards convenience and security in financial transactions.

In-store, card-based payments are equally prevalent, with 55.9% of consumers opting for this method, followed by 22.2% using mobile wallets. The use of cash or checks for in-person purchases remains relatively low at 20.7%, indicating a broader acceptance and trust in digital payment solutions.

Spain in Global Digital Engagement Rankings

The report places Spain in a competitive position among the 11 countries surveyed. Spain ranks fifth overall in digital engagement, with 268 average activity days per month, indicating that Spanish consumers are highly active in various digital activities. This ranking places Spain ahead of countries like Germany, Australia, and Japan but behind top performers like Brazil, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The report highlights a notable generational divide in digital engagement, with younger generations leading the way. Generation Z and millennials in Spain are the most digitally engaged, with Gen Z performing digital activities for 93.8 days a month on average. This engagement includes a variety of digital activities, from banking and shopping to entertainment and communication.

In contrast, baby boomers and Gen X show lower levels of digital engagement, with significant gaps in the frequency and variety of digital activities performed. This generational divide underscores the need for targeted digital strategies catering to different age groups’ unique preferences and habits.

Spanish consumers are particularly active in specific digital activities. Video streaming, messaging, and mobile gaming are among the most popular, with substantial daily and weekly engagement rates. For instance, 59.9% of Spanish consumers engage in video streaming weekly, reflecting the country’s strong inclination towards digital entertainment.

Moreover, online banking is a significant digital activity, with 68.6% of consumers using mobile banking apps and 66.6% using online banking at least monthly. This high level of engagement indicates a well-established digital banking infrastructure and a consumer base comfortable with managing finances online.

In The EU Context

Outside of the How The World Does Digital Report, Spain is performing above the EU average in adopting AI solutions. As of 2023, 9.2% of Spanish enterprises have implemented AI, compared to the EU average of 8.0%. The country also exhibits robust growth in this area, with an annual growth rate of 9.3%, significantly outpacing the EU average of 2.6%. This shows Spain/s positive contribution to the EU’s Digital Decade target.

In fact, Spain emerges as a pivotal player within the EU’s digital strategy, exemplifying leadership across several key domains. The country’s commitment extends to fostering SME digitalization, where it outpaces Europe with initiatives like the Kit Digital program.

This program subsidizes the costs of adopting basic digital solution packages in Spanish SMEs, such as Internet presence, electronic sales, cloud office, digital workplace, digitization of basic processes, customer management, digital marketing and cybersecurity, among others.

Implementing these basic digitization packages will make it possible to boost eCommerce, digitize SME relations with the Administration and its customers, develop paperless internal processes, and implement electronic invoicing.

Spain’s active stance on digital skills development and cybersecurity underscores its dedication to creating a robust and inclusive digital society. These efforts align closely with EU recommendations, highlighting Spain’s determination to lead in technological innovation and sustainability within Europe.