The Coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, from how and where we eat, shop, attend religious services, or see a doctor, to how we perform one of the most essential services of all – banking.
In the past, most banking services were done in person or via a drive-through window. In 1994 Stanford Federal Credit Union became the first financial institution in the United States to offer online banking. Since then, online banking use has become more widely used, only to skyrocket during the Coronavirus pandemic. According to a Lightico survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on consumer banking, 82% of consumers are concerned about going to their local bank, and 49% of consumers admit to being less likely to take a loan from a bank if it requires visiting a physical branch.
While many businesses have been forced to close or significantly scale back their services, banks are able to offer their customers online management of most of their banking needs from the comfort of their homes. This can be intimidating to anyone, but especially to seniors who have spent most of their lives handling financial matters in person.
“In America, between 25 and 50% of older adults are digitally disconnected or not online at all,” said Tom Kamber, Founder and Executive Director of OATS (Older Adults Technology Services),. “There are several reasons behind this, including uncertainty about technology, lack of access, or safety concerns.” He noted that the pandemic is forcing seniors and other vulnerable populations to suddenly have to be online.
There are many benefits of online banking, including:
- Flexibility – you are able to check your balances and make transfers and deposits 24/7 – no waiting for “bank hours.” You may bank from your computer or even from an app on your smartphone.
- Convenience – you can set up automatic online bill pay – no more due dates to remember!
- Greater independence from caregivers – you won’t need a ride to the bank – now you can bank from the comfort of your home.
- Lower banking costs – online banks don’t pay overhead for physical branches and employees. Customers are often able to enjoy higher interest rates and lower fees.
- Safety/social-distancing – you won’t need to risk your health (going out in public, touching money) to manage your money. Perform all your bank-related tasks online.
Most brick and mortar banks offer online options, so there is no need to change your banking relationship in order to enjoy many of these benefits.
LK Daily Money Management offers a range of financial services, from helping you learn the ins and outs of online banking to fully managing your daily finances for you. Contact us to learn more at 516-528-0206.