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Germany

EU Proposal: Having A Bank Account Should Be A Basic Human Right

SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Germany)

Worldcrunch

BRUSSELS - Freedom of speech, right to a fair trial, access to public education and ... a checking account for every citizen?

In the future every EU citizen should have the right to a basic bank account, according to proposed European-wide legislation, reports German daily SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung. The proposed measure is expected to be put forward in June by Michel Barnier, the EU Commissioner responsible for internal market and services.

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Inside a Societe Generale branch in Paris (Benh LIEU SONG)

The EU Commission said the aim of the legislative package was to establish the legal basis for “a basic social right,” Süddeutsche Zeitungreports.

Currently more than 30 million EU citizens 18 and over have no bank account, which means that in many cases they cannot enter into certain contractual agreements such as the lease on an apartment or service contracts with telecommunications companies. The draft legislation argues that not having access to Internet makes these citizens unable to shop inexpensively online and thus benefit fully from the advantages of the European internal market.

According to the draft, there would (with some exceptions) be no service charges on these basic payment accounts.

Most of those without accounts live in eastern Europe: in Romania and Bulgaria, for example, only one in two people has an account, while in central and western Europe, one in ten citizens has no account.

Barnier's legislation would also make it easier to change banks, and financial institutions would be required to present their fees and conditions in a transparent and easy comparable way.

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Future

Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGO — TikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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