Older People Slow to Catch up to Online Banking

      February 08, 2017 08:57

      Online and mobile banking are rapidly taking over from counter services, but senior citizens have a hard time getting comfortable with the technology.

      According to the Bank of Korea, only 8.5 percent of people over 60 use online banking services. And only 5.7 percent of senior citizens use mobile banking.

      The Korea Internet and Security Agency last year found that only 16.5 percent of people in their 60s use the Internet, dropping to a vanishing 3.6 percent for people in their 70s. By contrast the rate is 80.2 percent for people in their 30s.

      In Korea, users need to download various buggy security programs, and people over 60 often give up on the hassle. Overseas these processes are much easier and conducted over a secure server rather than invading users' devices.

      Younger family members are rarely any help because they lack the patience or worry that their elderly parents will lay themselves open to fraud.

      One 35-year-old banker said, "Phishing scams frequently target senior citizens, so it's better if they go to the bank and use counter services."

      They have a point. According to the Financial Supervisory Service, 36 percent of the 2,866 victims of financial fraud between 2012 to 2015 were over 60. Common techniques targeting senior citizens include telling them to transfer their money to another account since their personal bank accounts were used in a crime, or to wire money quickly because their children are in need of emergency surgery.

      But by now fees are higher at the counter than online, which is another burden on people who may already feel left out and hard done by.

      "As Internet usage expands to almost every aspect of life, senior citizens who are not well versed in computer usage will end up feeling even more ostracized by society," said Cho Heung-shik of Seoul National University.

      "We need to strengthen education programs for senior citizens when it comes to new technologies."

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