It should come as no surprise that many older adults are still hesitant about embracing the digital era of finance—even with years of pushing people to switch into technology. That said, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that users have no choice but to embrace the use of mobiles and computers even for their financial needs.
As the modern age switches into mobile payments and cashless transactions, are there opportunities for senior citizens to adapt quickly to these new technologies? Today, we will look into the advantages of mobile payments for elderly loved ones—and how you can get them to try it out for themselves.
Mobile Payments Defined
Before we jump into the benefits of this fintech solution, let’s first define what mobile payments are.
Mobile payments is a term used for any payment for a product or service that a person can complete through using their smartphone or tablet. Mobile wallets are also utilized to send money to friends or family for quicker and cheaper transfers.
Aside from being available to use at home, mobile payment processing systems can also be utilized through scanning a barcode or a QR code on your phone while shopping in physical stores.
To make use of mobile payments, you need to have a mobile wallet. Mobile wallets are apps on your phone where you can add in debit cards or credit cards for funding. Instead of cash, you can access this app to make your payments digitally. With a mobile wallet, there is extra security consumers can enjoy, such as thumbprint authorization, facial recognition, and access codes.
Benefits of Mobile Payments For Seniors
Although many seniors still prefer going the traditional route when it comes to finances, this kind of approach will be a challenge in the long run. Aside from the rapid increase of digital finance solutions, seniors themselves face the likely possibility of becoming homebound—which makes mobile payments an even greater necessity.
If you are still in doubt, here are eight reasons why elders must jump into mobile payments and go cashless.
Safety With Physical Distancing
Even in 2021, it’s still better to be safe than sorry and decrease the chance of contracting COVID-19. By switching to mobile payments, consumers will eliminate the risk of being exposed to other people as they will be able to make purchases safely at home.
Aside from being free from face-to-face interaction, seniors won’t also have to handle cash or touch payment terminals, which can spread the virus around. By settling with digital wallets, human contact is mitigated and safety is encouraged.
For elders who have to stay at home, it is important to have enough funds for whatever they need day by day. However, they don’t have the capacity to fall in line and withdraw money from ATMs—and no one enjoys stressful queues at the bank, anyway.
With mobile payments, homebound elders don’t have to worry about running out of funds. They can easily access their digital wallets and complete their financial transactions, regardless of whether they have enough cash.
Senior citizens are common targets of theft, usually because most people know that they carry a lot of cash with them. Switching to mobile payments over carrying cash can be a less risky choice.
Nowadays, most digital wallets and ecommerce sites apply extra layers of security before they finalize transactions. Adding authentication methods and different verification tools helps protect the consumer, especially older adults.
At the age of retirement, it is very important for the elderly to practice financial management. With specific funds coming in, responsibility and discipline are crucial, so they have to stick to a monthly budget. Most of the time, this type of tracking is harder to maintain with cash. It can be easy to forget where money went—even the young ones experience this, too!
By using digital payments, seniors will be able to stay on top of their expenses, especially with easy-to-use monitoring solutions. Mobile wallets and bank apps provide their users with transaction history reports, balance statements, and essential financial records that will help develop better financial habits.
Variety of Options
Because digital payment is the up-and-coming industry, there’s a lot of competition on the rise. Consumers of all ages can take advantage of this opportunity by having their pick of the mobile payment solution they enjoy the most.
There are mobile apps for debit cards, credit cards, electronic wallets, and mobile payment solutions. You and your loved one can even pick one of the applications linked to their traditional banks for easier transition to a digital concept.
Because of financial technology solutions, payment processing from customer to business owner is now easier more than ever. Even people who don’t see themselves as techies will be able to catch up on mobile payment apps because of how user-friendly their interfaces are developed.
Carers and family members will find it easier to teach older adults in handling these apps as they are usually very simple and beginner-friendly.
Not only that, what makes mobile payments seamless is that they are accepted virtually everywhere. Digital payments are not limited to ecommerce websites—they are accepted even in small brick-and-mortar shops or your favorite neighborhood stores.
Quick Processing Time
Consider how long it is to count cash when you are making payments. Simply put, ATMs and bank lines are no match to how quick mobile payment solutions are.
That doesn’t end there. Not only will charging payments become faster, the payments are also processed real-time, to be received by the seller or the store immediately upon sending. The benefits will not be enjoyed by the customer alone, but it will also be appreciated a lot by the business owners.
Incentives and Promotions
Though mobile payments are on the rise, different companies that offer this service are still on the hunt to convert people into using their payment solutions. With a huge chunk of the market to sell a business to, most providers offer discounts, promotions, and incentives for their users.
Seniors can make the most of this opportunity by continually using these services on their payments. Some things they can enjoy are cashback for purchases, discount vouchers, free items, and other bonuses.
Ways to Help Homebound Elders Embrace Mobile Payments
In the switch to going digital, you might experience hesitancy from your family members when trying to make them convert to trying mobile payments. Here are some tips to help the seniors in your home become welcoming to new technology.
Familiarize Them With Other Functions
Before anything else, give them the chance to be more comfortable in using their smartphone. Show them how to do some video calls with other relatives, watch movies, play games, take photos, and access social media. When they are more comfortable with the gadget, they will be more excited to learn more about using them.
Sign Up for a Financial Literacy Class
With more and more elders practically forced by the pandemic to adjust to technology, many government and private organizations offer webinars and online classes. One of the most popular topics for elders are financial literacy and being updated with online money solutions. Attend one with your relatives so they can learn with your guidance along the way.
Order Food and Groceries Online
Most of the time, the easiest way to learn is through example. Show them the perks of using mobile payments in an actual scenario so they will be able to appreciate the technology. The quickest way to do so is to order some food online or order some essentials at home. When they see how convenient deliveries can be, you just might heighten their curiosity to learn.
Though this might be easier for you, you should remember that your senior family member lived in a world where these things haven’t been invented yet. Stay as patient as you can while they are learning and be supportive in their learning journey.
Encourage questions while they are trying out using their phones on their own. Your support can help them carry on and appreciate a sense of independence on their finances.
Educate Them About Scams
As your elderly family member discovers the beautiful world of digital payments, make sure that they are also aware of the drawbacks of their freedom. Just like everything else, mobile payments come with advantages and pitfalls, too. Fraudsters are always on the hunt for people they can trick or scam into getting financial information—don’t let your loved one be one of the victims.
Remind your senior loved one that sensitive information, including their email address, credit card information, Social Security Number, and passwords, should never be provided to anyone. Make sure they review their credit report for potential fraud every once in a while, too.
Additionally, educate your homebound relatives about online scams, like false messages, suspicious links and websites, or sites that are simply untrustworthy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so take the time to get them fully equipped for the digital world.
Have you been using mobile payments? How do you think homebound elders benefit from them? Share your thoughts in the comments!