Older people are being increasingly shut out of every day banking as it becomes an exclusively online activity … everything is either a PIN/security number to remember or dependent on online access and an e-mail account.
Everything is a number – too many to remember and inadvisable to write them down on scraps of paper kept in purse or wallet, though most do.
Too many passwords required – they usually use the same one for everything and if it is something funny, they love to broadcast it to anyone who listens …! They don’t understand alpha-numerical encryption requirements, i.e. uppercase, special characters or password managers.
Not everybody has e-mail or a mobile … let’s design an alternative, elder-friendly system.
Not everybody has family support. Some elders are entirely alone ☹ …
Cheques for cash at the cashier desk now being actively discouraged even though this is the process which is most familiar. Also, removal of human interface increases feelings of social isolation.
Bank account closure process is incredibly challenging when you are no longer in possession of the identity documents required [i.e. valid passport or driver’s licence]. Why not consider accepting something like a blue badge as an identity document?
Treat them with respect – not automatic first name basis, but Mr or Mrs/Miss … staff should always introduce themselves and be patient and courteous as well as helpful. Do not try to bamboozle them with jargon and be patient.
Lack of awareness of the £85,000 FSCS bank guarantee for each institution (some are combined and are regarded as one) means savings are sometimes not secure.
Following bereavement, no credit history in sole name, so credit card limits can be very low to begin with and slow to increase.
Automated telephone attendants are confusing for older people especially those with hearing difficulty … they often think they are talking to a human being or that someone is leaving them a message. Similarly, numerous options to press different buttons to access services are befuddling for them …
What about specialist, elder-friendly bank walk-in sessions … patient and friendly, designed to welcome and reassure. This could be done at quiet times of day, not peak times ... avoiding the need to rush people.