One of the ways you’ve probably coped to being forced to stay cooped up at home is by increasing your reliance on online banking apps. It’s not a bad thing—in fact, using banking apps has likely improved your productivity without compromising your health and safety. It has allowed you to send and receive money, pay bills, and purchase groceries and goods remotely, all without increasing your exposure to other places and people.
The ongoing pandemic has increased the rate of adoption for online banking apps and services. This is a leap forward for many consumers and professionals. However, not everyone is adapting well to the shift to online banking. Many senior citizens, in particular, are having a hard time appreciating the conveniences and added safety measures brought about by using digital banking channels.
Common Barriers to Online Banking Services
Older adults often lack the confidence to navigate the online world on their own. Unlike digital natives who are quite comfortable exploring the options that being part of the online community continues to afford them, many senior citizens are still wary about using the internet. Senior citizens often prefer interacting with people over using digital means of getting their errands done.
Other factors that prevent senior citizens from using online banking channels are the lack of connectivity and limited access to appropriate gadgets. These are compounded by the fact that some seniors are also afraid of making mistakes online and are worried about becoming a victim to fraud.
How to Help Seniors Make the Most of Online Banking Apps Services
Senior citizens certainly stand to benefit from using online banking channels regularly, but they need all the help they can get so they can take advantage of this technology. If you have an older adult in your family who’s keen on learning more about online banking, here’s how you can help:
Address Their Fears. Introducing senior citizens to online banking starts with allaying their fears about this banking channel. More often than not, banking apps are in an entirely new territory for seniors. As such, senior citizens are concerned about making mistakes while exploring the app and unintentionally spending their money in the process. Brief them about the safety features of the app and the controls in place to prevent them from accidentally misusing their funds.
Equip Them with the Right Gadget. Let your senior family member get used to accessing their online banking account by providing them with a device that’s appropriate for the task. This way, they can take their time familiarizing themselves with the app and its features. If the user doesn’t have an online banking account yet, it’s best to go over the application process with them. You or the bank staff can aid the user, address the questions and concerns they might have, and follow up on the steps they’ve taken to complete the application and account verification.
Point Out Navigation Signposts. A banking app should be intuitive enough that it’s easy for any beginner—regardless of age—to use the program. When teaching senior citizens how to navigate online banking apps, it’s helpful to point out visual cues that can guide them in the next step of the process. For example, if they want to send or receive money, what icons should they remember? Where can they find the verification code if the bank sends them one? What sequence of icons should they click if they want to pay their bills, and what should pop up as a sign that the transaction was a success?
Let Them Practice. Be generous when giving directions, but let your older family member click on the icons and input the necessary information on the app. Giving them a hands-on online banking experience will help them become more familiar with the app and remember its features.
Share Information about Fraud Protection. Online safety remains a primary concern for older adults. Help them stay alert by letting them know about the different methods scammers use to access their finances. Go over the basic dos and don’ts of online banking. Also, ask your senior family members to consult you first before they click suspicious links, send money, or forward sensitive information to people online.
Be There for Support and Assistance. Lend a helping hand if there’s any part of the banking process that confuses your senior family members or if they’ve forgotten how to carry out a particular task on the banking app. Assure older adults that you’re ready and willing to answer questions and concerns. This will encourage them to come to you in case they encounter any suspicious activity while they’re making online transactions.
Banks Need to Step Up As Well
The younger generation doesn’t have to bear the sole responsibility of helping their older family members navigate online banking channels. Banks should also step up and make their apps more senior-friendly.
This can be done by incorporating intuitive navigation with helpful visual cues. Apps can also use more inclusive images that portray a wider variety of bank customers and app users. Finally, banks should take note that their older clients prefer interacting with people. As such, it’s important to have programs and dedicated staff members who can offer practical and personalized assistance to senior citizens who want to enjoy the benefits of online banking.