Age-Unfriendly Banking!

Dealing with banks can prove to be a complete nightmare for just about anyone. But if you are of retirement age and find it harder to remember things, this whole industry will prove to be even more frustrating. Banks seem to continue to upgrade their technology. For the most part, this endeavour is meant to help protect the consumer. There are technology advancements that can serve to help prevent fraud or theft. However, for the older generation, these technology advancements in banking can be hard to navigate.

There are a number of ways that banks have upgraded their technology over the last several years. While these advancements are typically made to make banking easier and safer for the average consumer, they can often create more difficulty and confusion for older generations. For example, ATM cash cards are used on a daily basis by many, if not most, consumers. They are intended to make purchases easier and eliminate having to visit the bank each time cash is needed. An ATM card can be used as a credit card in most stores and restaurants and allow consumers and bank customers more freedom with their purchases and overall lifestyle. However, for many retirees, using an ATM card can cause frustration. Long gone are the days of using a passbook to deposit and withdraw money. Now, each store’s ATM and credit card machine is different and uses different instructions. It is imperative to remember your access code or you aren’t going to be able to use your card as debit and will be limited to using it as a credit card. All of these things can make using a card for purchases much more difficult for the retired consumer. It is not just that the ATM card itself can be difficult to use but it is also just a change in the way older consumers are used to doing things. It requires them to learn an entirely new way of banking. Now, it is possible to bank using direct deposit and an ATM card and never actually have to physically visit the bank. This is quite a different system when compared to banking just a decade or two ago.

The Government, and more specifically the Social Services department, do not necessarily make things any easier when it comes to banking for seniors. Pensions and benefits are more often than not deposited directly into a bank account. It is nearly impossible for retirees to receive their benefits via a cheque anymore. This means that they are forced further to use their ATM cash card, as well as other new banking technology.

It is not impossible for the older generation to get more familiar with the technology advancements that now dominate the banking industry. However, this is where the younger generation and banking staff specifically need to ensure they are doing everything they can to assist older members of the population with such technology. For most retirees, asking a younger family member for help is the easiest option when trying to learn new technology. If you are a retiree confused by new technology, ask a family member to accompany you to the ATM machine so you can be sure you are using it correctly. However, the recent banking advancements do not start and stop with ATM cards. You can also ask a family member to assist you in other new technologies such as automatic bill pay or online banking. These upgrades in the banking world may be incredibly confusing and frustrating at first. However, not only are they intended to help stop fraud and theft, but they are also intended to make life easier for those who are on the go or do not have time to always stop into their local bank branch. Online bill pay and online banking can actually save you a great deal of time if you learn how to use the functions properly. All advancements are made with good intentions. They just require some additional time to learn and use.

There are some areas of banking and finance that are pertinent to retirees which can also seem quite complicated. A good example would be equity release plans. This financial product is typically only used by those who are retired and elderly. That being said, the process for learning about and securing an equity release scheme can be quite complicated. However, because the product is one that requires some additional education and decision making, there are many professional advisers on hand to assist people who may be interested in taking out an equity release plan. Speaking with an adviser is always recommended and can be used to help best understand how the scheme works as well as its advantages and disadvantages.