How To Teach Seniors To Use Smartphone Applications for Mobile Banking

Making the switch to mobile banking has proven to be a smart choice for many working professionals and homemakers in 2020. Sending and receiving money without handling cold, hard cash or making contact with other people became the norm last year, and there are no signs that we’ll let go of these new-found conveniences now that community and travel restrictions are loosening up. If anything, the pandemic has only shown us that, as a society, we’re slowly getting used to the idea of transacting without depending entirely on physical currency.

Younger people - digital natives, in particular - didn’t have a hard time switching from physical banks to banking apps on their devices. After all, most of the younger generation are using digital devices as an extension of their bodies. 

The same can’t be said, however, for many seniors who didn’t grow up with access to the internet. Many of them find it difficult to entrust their finances to a device or technology that they can neither understand nor navigate properly. As such, many seniors still find it necessary to head out of their homes. Consequently, they still tend to depend on cash and in-store purchases and transactions, while also interacting with people outside of their family members—activities that can endanger their health during these times. Plus, many of them still prefer interacting with people over the conveniences of using devices for banking.

Grandparents Seniors Using Smartphone

It’s not too late to ease your senior family members into the idea of mobile banking, though. The process of convincing them to use a more modern approach to handling their finances can be difficult at first, but it’s not impossible. Below, we’ve compiled a few practical tips that can help you introduce the concept of mobile banking to the older members of your family.

Build Their Confidence in Using Digital Devices and the Internet

Storing your money in a system that has not earned your trust is a no-no, and many seniors feel this way about mobile banking apps. They can’t trust the app because they’re not familiar with how it works, and they don’t trust themselves with navigating these apps. To make them more comfortable with online and digital banking, you need to make them more familiar with using digital devices as a whole. When introducing a new app or phone feature, let your senior student carry out instructions on the device and explore its functions so they can get used to the feel of it. When they make a mistake, don’t get mad or panic. Instead, assure them that an act is reversible or, if it’s not, it’s a good learning experience.

Only Recommend Trusted Mobile Banking Apps with Reliable Security Measures

It is highly important for tech-savvy grandchildren to teach their grandparents to only use official mobile applications by trusted banks that are known to protect their clientele through several layers of security measures and by strictly following mobile banking rules and regulations. Grandparents must be made aware of the existence of websites and applications by vile individuals or groups that aim to dupe seniors into sending their hard-earned savings. Teach seniors to identify warning signs and to altogether avoid giving sensitive information about themselves online.

Find a Mobile Banking App with a Friendly and Easily Navigable Interface

Sometimes, it’s not the person but the app that’s the problem. As much as society has made strides in improving user interfaces in general, there are still banking apps that are just difficult to use and navigate, even if the user is a young digital native. Steer clear of these apps. Instead, go for banking apps that are easy to understand and can be customized to be senior-friendly. Whenever possible, choose apps with minimalist design and those that can be customized to accommodate the needs of people with different levels of physical and cognitive abilities.

Provide Simple Instructions and Invest in Wayfinding Tools for Common Tasks

Avoid applications that make use of a lot of unnecessary images and texts, as these can sometimes confuse users. Make an effort to find apps that present all the options that your senior family member will need right in front of them. Also, use shortcut tools that are available on the device that your senior family member is using. This way, they can access their most-utilized features in just a few clicks. Check out the tutorials provided by your preferred banks as well and save a copy that you can show to your elderly family members.

Be Prepared to Offer Assistance Whenever They Need It

By offering your help to senior family members, you’re encouraging them to keep using the app on their own. They’ll feel more comfortable exploring the app if they can rely on you for assistance should they forget anything or do something unexpected on the app.

Assure Them That There Are Security and Safety Measures in Place

Banking apps by trusted institutions are quite convenient to use, so some seniors fear that they might easily lose their hard-earned money while on their mobile devices. Let them know that there are means to get their money back in case they make a mistake. This would also be another good opportunity to educate your older family members on how to keep their passwords safe and how to avoid scams and hoaxes. At the end of the day, if they’re not sure about something, assure them that they can always come to you for assistance.

Once your senior family members warm up to the idea of using mobile banking apps, they’ll be able to do their daily tasks in a much safer manner. Keep encouraging them to switch to mobile and online banking apps so they too can enjoy the benefits afforded by this new way of managing their finances.

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