Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research (Print ISSN: 1533-3590; Online ISSN: 1533-3604)


The COVID Crisis and the Digital Revolution are making the Blochchain more a necessity than a choice: Investigation in the Tunisian Context

Author(s): Zaidi Noura, Sadraoui Tarek & Azouzi Mohamed Ali

Purpose: COVID-19 has become a global challenge with a significant rate of prevalence, and it is likely to have a large impact on bank’s performance. Therefore, a number of studies have already been, or are now being, conducted on the detrimental effects of the virus. In this respect, a question may arise: Is there any possibility to turn the threat of the virus outbreak into an opportunity in some sectors such as the banking industry? In this research, the effects of COVID-19 pandemic as an influential element on the acceptance of digital banking (branchless banking) and blockchain technology has been studied. Branchless banking, digitalization and the introduction of blockchain technology should be the short-term objective of regulators. Design/methodology/approach: In this research, the positive side of the COVID 19 and its effect on the acceptance of digital banking (branchless banking) and blockchain technology has been studied. This by conducting a research questionnaire and interviewing bankers and bank customers. Then the research assumptions and detailed discussions of main results were presented. Findings: Results showed that banking transactions could be maintained by implementing the promoting incentive policies and increasing bank’s investment on digital infrastructure and reducing the number of branches in order to decrease the frequency of customer’s visits. In addition, the COVID 19 has speeds up the bank’s digitalization process. Further, by promoting customers’ acceptance of using digital services, the spread of COVID-19 can be viewed as a positive factor, or even a catalyst, in developing branchless banking in Tunisia. Finally, interviewees shows their high level of trust on blockchain technology, which is highly recommended and not yet introduced. Originality/value: The blockchain technology and a higher level of digitalization (digital infrastructure and qualified workers) are vital as soon as possible for the Tunisian financial system. The COVID crisis has speeds upd willingness and awareness to use digital services, speeds ups the digitalization process and facilitates transactions during the confinement period. The customer visits depends on the number of bank branches, which in turn affects bank costs.

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