Older Australians switching to banking online

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While older Australians may be reluctant to actually switch banks, a growing number are happy to make the move to online banking, shunning the traditional visit to a branch.

A survey by St.George Bank has found that 50 per cent of older Australians prefer to bank online and only 43 per cent are still keen to visit a branch.

The survey of 1000 Australians, aged between 50 to 75, has found that, despite the myth that older Australians are fearful of technology, they are actually embracing the convenience of the online world.

Of course, with increased online activity, especially when it concerns finances, the need to stay safe online is also growing. With this in mind, St.George Bank is inviting older Australians to pop into their local branch during NSW Seniors (3–12 March) for a cup of tea and a chat about online safety.

“Our research shows 50 per cent of older Australians prefer to bank online compared with 43 per cent who like to visit a branch. With a growing number of people embracing internet banking, St.George is encouraging seniors and their families to come into a branch for a chat and tips on how to bank online safely and securely,” said Ross Miller, General Manager of St.George Retail Bank.

The survey also found that savings account interest rates, followed by mortgage rates, service offering and having a local branch nearby, are the priority when choosing a bank. And changing banks isn’t top of their to-do list either, with 43 per cent last changing banks more than 10 years ago and 18 per cent having never changed.

From YourLifeChoices Retirement Insights Survey, we know that technology doesn’t faze older Australians. With over 6700 responses received, we know that 70 per cent of our members are more than happy to shop online and that 76 per cent regularly trade shares. Older Australians also spend a considerable amount of time online, with 45 per cent going online three or more times a day – 42 per cent spending one to two hours and 24 per cent spending two to three hours.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 12
  1. 0

    I use online banking from time to time but I also like to visit my local branch. The staff there are friendly and love to chat. And I like to think I am helping keep their jobs.

  2. 0

    Two things! Do you read the news about online hackers compromising systems such as the Pentagon’s systems, and ask yourselves how easy it would be for those hackers to compromise your bank accounts? And two, do you really want to be complicit in banks cutting staff and sending people to the dole queue if you banked online?

  3. 0

    Would be interesting how the St George survey was done – was it online? This would give distorted percentage of online users as this cross section of customer is already computer literate and therefore happy to do online banking

  4. 0

    Most of my bank accounts are online bank accounts only. I also have a personal banker who takes care of things for me over the phone whereas the staff in a branch would have little idea what to do. So other than baking a rare cheque which I just put in a slot I have no reason to visit a bank these days. Maybe I just should call in for a chat.

  5. 0

    No way I’m putting any of my banking details on line, or using my debit card to pay for something purchased on line.

    My lady did a couple of times, but then a couple of thousand dollars disappeared from her account, spent in London.

    Yes she got it back, but only 3 months later.

    I am also right now looking for a bank with a debit card that DOES NOT HAVE this fool touch & go. My current, soon to be ex bank tell me they can’t give me a card without it, so it’s see you around, I’m out of here for that bank for me.

    • 0

      Yes Hasbeen, I too want a debit card that is not “touch & go” but that is not possible. I am with a building society. I wonder when the phrase “the customer is always right” got the chop?

  6. 0

    I haven’t banked with a ‘bank’ for many years, I use a credit union, no charges for using my debit card, great service either over the phone or face to face. When I was paying off my home the interest was always lower than the banks. Also do online banking and feel quite secure with the way the credit union is set up for security. Switch and find just how much better than a bank it is.

  7. 0

    Use online banking all the time. Cannot remember the last time a cheque was written out. A fast and time efficient way to do banking. Only go into the bank to negotiate a HIGHER interest rate for term deposits than what is being marketed – works ALL the time and worth the visit. So many people don’t try and negotiate a higher rate and just settle for the advertised rate – try it one day and you might just be surprised. This is done with two different banks – not just one – and works with both. They don’t want to lose your business, especially if they know that another bank is involved! Always check out the going rates from all the different facilities and am armed with the print out when I start negotiating.

    • 0

      I have actually found that I get an even higher rate when I telephone as the banks have a dedicated area which can give discretionary interest but branches have limits put on them. Certainly the case with St George

  8. 0

    Yet another dubious study this time a bank with a vested interest in promoting on-line banking does a survey which…… what do you think! Riiight! Only 43% of the target group prefer to visit a branch whilst 50% prefer to deal on-line!

    So what I’d like to know is where were the people who preferred internet banking? Could they possibly be in areas where there is no branch because it was closed down and there is no other choice?

    This smacks to me of a re-run of Ms Berejiklian as Transport Minister gloating over the take-up of the Opal travel card in NSW whilst ‘forgetting’ to mention she had removed all paper tickets leaving travellers with no alternative.

  9. 0

    I do my banking online and I use the ATM. I like to use cash for shopping then I always know if I have enough for the next shop. I do use the branch if I need to deposit or if I need to change coins. Now the suncorp branch in Coolangatta has sent me an email to say they are closing the branch in April due to lack of use. I did email to ask if the ATM would stay but had no response. It means I will change banks as I am in that suburb every day & will not be able to get to another suburb for my money without extra running around just for that. I cannot change coins at another branch as they will charge me for not being a member. Is this really fair? I am not the only senior who uses a branch so it will leave a lot changing banks. Then there is the hassle of notifying places where you do direct debit. I wonder how many others will follow suit & how many banks will be left operating.

  10. 0

    I also use online banking facilities but only on our home PC and never on a smart phone. I never use free wi-fi to access any personal details as free wi-fi cannot be guaranteed to be secure. As regards doing personal banking to save jobs, forget it. Our local Commonwealth closed and moved a couple of suburbs away because they could. Locals found out 10 days before the event and when they complained they were told that it was a business decision and they were welcome at the new branch.

    On a slightly different topic, we also use direct debit for all of our utilities and find it a very useful way to do business. We do a bit of travelling and direct debit reduces the need to worry about paying bills while we are away.



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