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What is real-time economy?

Real-time Economy (RTE) is not a specific type of economy, but a term that refers to a information-based infrastructure where data on economic transactions are transferred between the parties in real time. The results of real-time economy projects reduce corporate and government costs and increase business revenue. International cooperation within the European Union will also be enhanced.

The goal of the real-time economy (RTE) pursued by Estonian entrepreneurs and the state is to show that today's entrepreneurs, state and citizens can save time and money by replacing paper-based business and administrative transactions with automated data exchange, provided that these are carried out:

  • safely,
  • in a standardized form,
  • digitally,
  • automatically,
  • in a machine readable form,
  • in or near real time.

The very goal of RTE is to carry out a structural change in the business environment and relations with the state, so that business administration and management activities could occur automatically in the background and significantly reduce the administrative burden on entrepreneurs.


Business in Estonia Woman working

Photo by: Toolbox Estonia



Enablers and building blocks of real-time economy

In order for RTE to function effectively, it is necessary to understand its building blocks, i.e. solutions, the adoption of which helps us assess how successful the transition to RTE has been.

Core technological infrastructure or RTE base solutions:

  • Common standards for data exchange
  • Cross-organization integration platforms
  • Unified taxonomy for reporting

Possible e-services or RTE solutions:

  • Automatic accounting, quality assurance and auditing
  • Continuous reporting, risk monitoring and assessment
  • Data-driven machine-readable applications such as e-invoices and e-receipts
  • e-address, e-ID, e-signature, e-payment, e-procurement and real-time forecasting
  • Real-time income register, real-time taxation and asset reporting

Organizations' data-driven business processes and management decisions:

  • Automated business processes
  • Business process re-engineering
  • Human decision-making frameworks
  • Trust between the participants