“We are old, not stupid”: …

Smart companies will provide seniors with the best possible user experience, both digital and analog. Despite the importance of digitization, we must not forget the growing proportion of the elderly population among us.

Carlos San Juan, a Spaniard who has been around for years, recently had a great maneuver. Two months ago, he launched a petition to encourage banks to stop turning away older customers by closing branches and shifting important transactions online.

The campaign on Change.org collected nearly 650,000 signatures with a very straightforward slogan:I’m the mayor, no foolIn translation, this means: “I am old, not a fool.”

Last week, Spanish authorities and banking associations published a ten-point plan, backed by a law to provide the elderly with “personal, humane and quality treatment”.

San Juan’s success is a warning to all the financial and other institutions that think the cheap new app is a miracle cure for their customer service problems.

Everyone who handled sign-ups, downloads, online security, and many online services on behalf of older relatives might have been as disappointed as San Juan. Older clients suffer from a lack of empathy and involvement from large companies, most notably the lack of a strategy for targeting the target audience presented in this article.

When a Financial Times reporter wrote on Twitter that the app was not an easy fix, as the companies believed, his complaints were met with hundreds of users. Many admitted that they had to impersonate their parents in order to conduct basic online transactions or defraud unresponsive call centers. “I’ve found that lying on my back with my head tilted forward as far as possible is the best way to add 40 to my voiceSomeone admitted.

Then there are, for example, people with dementia, which again is a challenge. However, the overall problem is very similar to the “comorbidity” challenge that makes hospice care so complex.

The elderly I help do not have cognitive impairment. They are not digitally or financially illiterate and are often equipped with tablets and smartphones. However, they face a host of different circumstances that, according to app designers and customer service departments, can turn simple steps into unusable maze.

A tech-savvy relative of an 80-year-old iPad journalist who understands and uses online banking and apps. She would have preferred to avoid strenuous visits to her bank, as happened to her recently, when she had to prove that she was unable to sign a document due to her increasing physical disability. However, the same situation makes online transactions more difficult for her and worries about how to prove her identity without paper bank statements and utility bills.

Another relative, a 90-year-old who avoids technology, prefers to use landline and mail and, if necessary, visit a local bank branch where an understanding employee gets to know his needs. But what happens if the bank decides to close the branch? To access the online service offered by his health insurer, he had to scan a QR code, obtain a mobile phone backup code, and reset his password. In theory, this procedure is considered safe, but in practice it is a frightening one and cannot be passed without help.

How to solve this problem?

Helping the elderly “digitize” solves only one part of the problem. as . points out Joel LewisThe head of the charity Age UK, the financial institutions, announced that they would help us with our way of life and then through technology “upgrades” move the goal of depriving older users of the control they thought they had achieved.

Sam RichardsonC., a customer service consultant at Twilio, a cloud-based communications platform, says that new web service designers are focusing on regular users. He’s heard that in some companies seniors are dismissed as “pending”, “backward” or “marginal” issues.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that by 2028, those over the age of 65 will represent more than one-fifth of the citizens of its member states, and that this proportion will continue to increase. In many countries, people over the age of 65 already make up more than 20 percent of the population. We don’t consider other vulnerable users who may have similar problems with the all-digital interface, or poorer people who can’t afford the technology needed to collaborate.

This shows the lack of strategic corporate thinking. The plan, imposed by San Juan of Spanish banks, suggests what to do. It promises that the outlets will prioritize in-person treatment of older users during certain hours, provide them with private phone lines, provide accessible digital tools and improve staff training.

This is pure foundation. On the other hand, smart companies are sure to seize the opportunity to come up with what’s necessary and gain a reputation as a provider of the best digital and analog options for older customers. They need to see this as an investment in a growing market. After all, one day we will all become “idiots”.

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