Westpac’s digital banking spokesperson Judy Bailey is encouraging older customers to embrace online banking by sharing her own experiences.
Judy recently met with a group of Westpac customers in Feilding and says she understands the trepidation some people may face with online banking.
She too had been nervous on her first forays into online banking but after she had a go, Judy realised it was safe and secure and not as hard as she thought.
The biggest thing was taking that first step and trying it out. If help was needed, Westpac was only a phone call away.
As well as digital banking, phone banking was also an option that people could try.
Digital adoption has been a key focus for Westpac’s Managing Your Money team of facilitators who have been doing outreach sessions alongside SeniorNet tutors at rest homes in Auckland.
Westpac facilitator Navroze Kotwal says the SeniorNet sessions are aimed specifically at teaching seniors new skills and helping them feel comfortable with new ways of doing things.
“The participants are very receptive and a lot of them are already well on their way with these facilities,” Kotwal said.
“We address their concerns about using online platforms for banking and we find there is a lot of mis-information about fraud, scams and being taken advantage of. We find that these are the main causes of fear around going online.
“We want to dispel rumour mongering, give them the information about how everything works and how fraud is monitored 24/7 through the bank,” he said.
Kotwal’s top tips for seniors include, never sharing your password with anyone and do not hesitate to ask the bank for help if you need it – whether that’s remote or face to face.
Audrey, 84, has been using internet banking for years.
“I pay my tax to IRD through online banking and make regular payments every month, I find it very simple.
“I don’t have a smart phone, but I use my laptop for banking. My advice to others it to get into the internet because it’s quick and simple,” she said.
Westpac Bank Manager Rachel Compton in Wellington has also been helping local customers transition away from using cheques.
“One customer has been banking with us since the 1950s and is 88 years old. Just like a number of our customers, he’s currently figuring out how to pay his bills once cheques are removed in June and he’s just come out of hospital after having a stroke.
“He was not able to set up his bill payments himself, so we decided to visit him in the comfort of his own home at the retirement village.
“We set up his bill payments via online banking, set up his phone banking and wrote down the steps for him to follow the instructions next time.
“Now, that retirement village is letting other residents who are Westpac customers know we could do the same thing for them,” Compton said.
Westpac’s Extra Care Programme Lead Louisa Brock is leading by example and together with her mum Christine and her daughter Hazel, 7, they are teaching her 95-year-old grandmother Jean new ways to bank with her new iPad.
Jean, who Louisa calls Momma, used to use cheques for a lot of her payments – including giving 13 grandchildren and 20 great grandchild birthday present money.
“It took a few lessons for Momma to feel comfortable using online banking and we also set up her bill payees like the bowls club and her charities meaning she can still help support those charities close to her heart,” Louisa says.
Louisa says going digital has been “a breath of fresh air for Momma”.
“Another passion she has found is solitaire, it’s now her favourite pastime she also uses her iPad to receive pictures from all her grandkids across the world.”
If you would like any more information on SeniorNet empowered by Westpac sessions, email us at Managingyourmoney@westpac.co.nz