Estonian society has evolved rapidly from largely agricultural to technological in less than a century.
The Estonian state offers hundreds of e-services to citizens and thousands more to businesses. Some balance on the cutting-edge of innovation, while others are so commonplace that Estonians can’t imagine their lives without them. They save time, money and effort; the digital signature feature of Estonian ID cards alone is estimated to save users five days per year! Take a peek into a year’s worth of digital services, one for every month. Most services can be used year-round as well. Even if you don’t live in Estonia, you too can apply for Estonian e-residency and enjoy the business benefits remotely!
School is starting again and with eKool, an national online platform, parents can check their children’s grades and communicate with teachers. Over one million grades are entered daily.
October: internet voting
In Estonia, you don’t have to go to a polling station to cast your ballot – vote online electronically with internet voting! It’s as secure and anonymous as traditional voting and has been used in various elections since 2005.
November: digital prescriptions
When Estonians get sick, they don’t have to get a paper prescription from their doctor– an electronic prescription is sent to a database, immediately accessible to every pharmacy. Then the patient just needs to pick up their medicine and get well.
December: Christmas tree via app
What could be merrier than hiking into the forest and harvesting your own Christmas tree? With the RMK state forest mobile app, you can find the perfect location, cut down a tree and pay for it – all from your phone.
January: signing documents
Estonia has the world’s most advanced national identification card system. The ID card provides access to all government e-services, serves as a European travel document, is a health insurance card and allows users to securely sign documents.
February: learn Estonian online
Although locals are well versed in foreign languages, they are always delighted when visitors use Estonian. With Lingvist, you can learn the 100 most essential Estonian phrases online for free, just in time for Estonia’s 100th birthday in 2018.
Did you know, 95% of local taxes are filed online? With e-taxation, user information is stored online in a pre-filled form. All you have to do is review and click send, taking only three minutes on average!
April: get a birth certificate
Digital life starts early in Estonia; some hospitals offer an electronic medical birth certificate service. This means that the birth of a child can be registered online, skipping the paperwork.
May: start a business
Estonia has one of the highest number of startups per capita in the world, and one reason is the ease of establishing a business. Since 2011, a new company can be registered online in less than 20 minutes. 98% of new companies are entered in the e-Business Register digitally.
June: mobile parking
Paying for parking with coins is a thing of the past. By downloading the Mobile Parking app, you can find the nearest lots and pay digitally. With the fully automated feature, by syncing your phone to your car via bluetooth, the meter starts when you your ignition turns off and ends when you turn the car back on. 90% of metered parking is done via Mobile Parking.
July: transfer money
Summer travel season has arrived, and if you want to send money abroad, your bank could charge you up to 5% in hidden fees. Enter Transferwise – a startup founded by two Estonians that allows you to transfer money between currencies up to eight times cheaper than by bank.
August: robot delivery
Let robots do the heavy lifting. Estonian company Starship Technologies uses self-driving robots to deliver goods to your door, while Cleveron’s robotic parcel terminals fetch your shopping or postal packages for you at pick-up points.