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Age-Friendly Banking

Banking principles that benefit older adults

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This report published by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition highlights six "Age Friendly Banking Principles" that are based on insights from surveys and interviews of financial institutions concerning services for their 65+ customers.

The six principles are as follows:

1. Protect older adults from financial abuse

Elder financial exploitation is a major issue, and banks should take concrete steps to reduce scams, and to educate older adults on how to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

2. Customize financial products and services for older adults

Some banks have "senior" accounts, but these often require a high minimum balance and have high monthly fees. Banks should provide affordable banking products tailor to the needs of senior customers, including short-term loans with low interest rates to pay for unexpected health issues.

3. Expand affordable financial management

Financial institutions should offer financial education geared specifically towards older adults. Banks can partner with various organizations who might be able to help deliver quality financial education in ways that will actually reach the target audience.

4. Access critical income supports

It is important that older adults have access to government benefits that can help them to live longer, healthier lives. Financial institutions should help them to navigate new electronic benefit systems so that they can take full advantage of these programs.

5. Facilitate aging in the community

Financial institutions can help seniors to pay for costs associated with home modifications, and to obtain income from their home's monetary value. They should also offer counseling for housing-related decisions.

6. Improve accessibility to bank locations and services

It should be easy for older adults to access a physical bank branch, as they may not be willing or able to do their banking online. If a bank wants to encourage older customers to adopt online banking practices, they should make these services easy to navigate and might consider installing a computer terminal in the bank branch to help ease the transition. For physical bank locations, accessibility, i.e. ramps and clear signage, should be a priority. 

Source: http://www.giaging.org/documents/a_new_dawn-_age-friendly_banking.pdf

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Financial institutions have a responsibility to keep their older customers informed and empowered when it comes to managing their finances.

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm a graduate student studying Digital Media Design for Learning at New York University.

Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

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