Managing your money: empowering older people by ensuring they maintain control of their resources through online banking

The careNet project acknowledges that enhancing the digital competences of older people is vital if we want to ensure their autonomy and social inclusion. Often we find that technological developments are driven not by the needs of the older person but rather by companies and professionals that have differing priorities. The importance of maintaining control over ones finances cannot be underestimated, but for older people, living in an increasingly digital world this is not as straightforward as it once used to be. For example in the UK the projected end point for the use of paper cheques is 2018 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8414341.stm). In response to these and other changes we can identify a range of groups working to the demands of less well represented groups such as older peple. A good example is the Digital Interaction  group within the Culture Lab, based at the University of Newcastle, who have been exploring as they explain:

“the obvious need for the banking system to do more to be inclusive of the eighty-something age group, the aim of this project was to design innovative, provocative digital technologies that would enable this group to handle their finances more easily and highlight the ways in which the current system is failing older citizens.”

Their efforts in this domain have resulted in the production of a number of prototypes that include:
• A secure PIN reminder called the ‘Biometric Daemon‘;
Digital Cheques to better integrate the traditional cheque into modern banking systems;
• An application to enable people to give delegates restricted access to their money on their behalf called the ‘Guardian Angel‘;
• ‘Questionable Concepts‘ a provocative exploration of ideas about money-related scenarios.

For further information on these and other projects from the group please visit: http://di.ncl.ac.uk/projects/new-approaches-to-banking/

Author: Steven Warburton

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