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Is Banking part of the Digital Divide of the Generation Gap?

Article by Fabafterfifty

Is the digital divide now highlighting the generation gap? It seems research indicates that the over 55s are not taking advantage of online banking.  As the phasing out of cheques is discussed, it is becoming increasingly important to look at other payment methods such as telephone and online banking.  With this in mind there is a campaign to urge people  to not miss out on life by ignoring online banking. With the cheque guarantee scheme associated with debit and credit cards being phased out by June 30th, telephone and online banking shouldn’t be ignored, and it is certainly something we need to help the older generation understand- I know from my own time at various events over the past 12 months that there appears to be a reluctance on the part of my parents (the 70+) generation to embrace any transactions online.
The Payments Council is encouraging over 55s to take advantage of this year’s Silver Surfers’ Day (Friday 20 May) by finding out how telephone and internet banking can help them avoid getting bogged down with everyday money matters.

New research shows that despite ever increasing numbers of people in their 50s and beyond getting online and banking online, many still spend valuable hours heading into their bank branches to tackle the most straightforward of tasks.
Unsurprisingly, the research showed how most people (68%) value spending time with family more than anything else. However, latest research shows that the over 55s are least likely to be making the most of the time-saving convenience afforded by telephone or internet banking. Only 32% of over 55s use either telephone or internet banking, and only 24% of over 65s, compared with 60% of 16-24 year olds, 71% of 25-34 year olds, 69% of 35-44 year olds and 57% of 45-54 year olds.  

The time savings that can be made, coupled with changes such as the ability to guarantee a cheque with a credit or debit card being phased out on the 30th June this year, there is no better time to get online and take the opportunity to find out about new payment methods.

We live in an increasingly Digital Age

Esther Rantzen CBE, supporting Payments Council’s drive to encourage more people aged 55 and over to try telephone and internet banking, said:
“We are very lucky to be living in an increasingly digital age which means we can speak to loved ones on the other side of the world, do our shopping without venturing out of the house and learn all kinds of fascinating information from the internet. But that means it is really important that everyone of every age feels comfortable with the internet so that we can all make the most of these opportunities. 
I took my time to discover internet banking, but now I find it absolutely invaluable. It means that I can pay my bills, transfer money and deal with all my affairs quickly, easily and securely, with a permanent record of every transaction, and that of course gives me much more time to spend with my family and friends and to enjoy life.”
Silver Surfers’ Day is the final day of Spring Online Week, when thousands of people around the country will be taking part in internet taster sessions. As peoples’ confidence with internet use is given a boost, the Payments Council is encouraging people to make the most of their new internet know-how and contact their banks to find out how to get started with internet and telephone banking.
Gary Hocking, Acting Chief Executive of the Payments Council, said:
“There are more safe, quick and convenient methods of payment now than ever before; the Payments Council are keen to help close the gap between the way the different generations bank and encourage people of all ages to share in the benefits of internet and telephone banking.

You can find out more about different payment methods by visiting the Payments Council’s website www.payyourway.org.uk or contact your bank to find out how to get started with telephone and internet banking.

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Peter Barker

    November 10, 2011

    I think the banks need to do a lot more to make online banking user friendly. With my bank some processes are too complicated, the information is too dense, the fonts are too small; sometimes it is easier just to go into a branch!

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