Congratulating you for using ATMs is downright patronising

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Are you tired of organisations congratulating you for being able to use technology? YourLifeChoices certainly is. The latest to patronise older Australians is the Commonwealth Bank. On Tuesday, it breathlessly reported that 50 per cent of customers over the age of 65 use ATMs.

Pardon our French, but no shit Sherlock! Of course many over 65s use ATMs. That’s because the banks have forced us to, with branch closures and long teller queues. It has nothing to do with customer preference and everything to do with the bank’s bottom line.

In addition, the CommBank reports, one in four customers aged over 65 now banks digitally. Of course they do – because they have been forced to and, yes, they know how to.

According to CommBank’s General Manager Retail Sales Strategy and Projects, Anna Mankiewicz, research indicates “a clear shift away from over-the-counter transactions … despite industry research showing age is still a key factor in people’s ability to use and keep up with technology”.

Seriously? So, the CommBank is there to help, apparently. Says Ms Mankiewicz: “As one of Australia’s largest, customer-facing institutions with a big branch network, our teams have a role to play in guiding and supporting older consumers to keep up with technology, so they can maintain their independence when managing their finances and have the ability to bank with us when it is convenient for them, not just during branch operating hours.”

Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. Banks are continuing to cut staff and services in order to reduce costs – that’s a fact. They then tell us they are there to help us master the new technologies they have forced us to adopt. We are not intellectually impaired – we get these technologies already, thanks.

And isn’t it the ultimate irony, that a bank currently under investigation for not being able to control its own ATM deposits (think money laundering) is trumpeting its ability to ‘guide and support older consumers to keep up with technology’?

Really? It would be funny if it wasn’t so patronising.

What do you think?

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Written by Kaye Fallick


Total Comments: 68
  1. 0

    I prefer to deal with people rather than technology when visiting a branch to deposit cash (I do most of my banking online), also if you use an ATM you don’t get access to your deposited money until the next day, whereas if you deposit it with a teller your money is immediately available.

  2. 0

    I’m tired of this constant suggestion that only young people can use/understand technology. Don’t they realise it was our generation that invented/developed/refined computers/mobile phones and apps. Also, I strike a large number of young people who use technology frequently, but badly because they don’t actually understand it. They are just winging their way through, relying on the technology to fix their errors.

  3. 0

    Not only are we savvy with technology…we also get that our Govt. is adopting/copying faile American Policies cos they are incapable of creating their own!
    More than half of Company Policies are illegal under Oz Law….but the Companies quote policy like its Law!
    Welcome to the New Oz!
    Americanised by Corp Politics…25% Foreign owned…when Multi million dollar Corporations pay no tax and get subsidised by the tax payers!

  4. 0

    Modern technology is great, in some cases. Sometimes you need to speak to a human being. Go into a commonwealth bank and some staffer standing by comes to you in a line and says could you follow me and they begin to show you how to withdraw or deposit in their “In the Wall” machine in the foyer.
    I tend to get a little annoyed , I don’t visit the bank much, but this is over kill, and I actually refused last time , and said its all well and good to have polite people coming up to you, but I do not want to mess around with a machine right now.
    As for patronising people ? Let me tell you, my Dad, not with us now, but he was using ATM’s when he was in his eighties right up to nearly 98 years old, so get off the grass Commonwealth Bank, and see to your own problems , some illegal I guess!

  5. 0

    The Commonwealth bank just changed the ATM screen layout, so I am not happy with that.
    The NAB just closed down two ATM’s that I walk past every morning.
    Bank of Queensland just closed a branch I walk past every morning.
    I don’t like the credit system for any of the banks because the readout gives company names and not actual names, also the purchases are never displayed in the exact order in which they were made. So I use cash for daily transactions.
    Nope not happy with the banks..

    • 0

      Agree the new screens of CBA are more tedious and slow in responding.
      Also, noticed 2 CBA ATMs in our area have been removed, although this is a high population area near trains. It’s all about reducing their costs and for more bonuses for CEOs.

  6. 0

    Well said, Kaye. I have never forgiven CommBank’s callous treatment of us when applying for a mortgage in the 80s. We’ve been with the ANZ for many years now and their attitude couldn’t be more different.

    • 0

      Wow Miranda, well done with the ANZ – the Traralgon branch told us that we HAD to deposit cheques in the ATM, they would not accept over the counter. Despite expressing our concern and the fact we had been banking with them for ALL our finances for 40 years we were told in so many words – tough. The regional manager even said he would be in Traralgon and discuss with my wife and I – I believe that after 3 years he is still finding his way to Traralgon – no problems, all fixed, we moved our finances to the NAB.

    • 0

      The BANKS can have it I wanted to buy a Motor Vehicle and All banks and a Credit business insisted that my partner had to apply and sign also. I then went to a CREDIT UNION and not problems I applied and the next day the finance was there just for me. Also When a friends mother was in a rental property they went to their bank to do a direct debit, OK that would cost $9.00 because they would have to do a cheque they also went to a credit union and no charge and no problems. So why bother with the money makers that is all they want to do. Gone are the days when the bank was there to help.

  7. 0

    I’m probably more skilled than most bank staff in the use of technologies used in banking. I rarely go into a bank or use an ATM. I refuse to deal with ‘Mary’ who expects me to tell her my name, address, mobile number and all my banking details before she’ll speak to me. I once tried to complain about Mary only to find there were 5 in my branch. If the banks were serious about ATMs and online banking they’d do much more to help those who lack the skills or can no longer see or press keys because of disabilities. I read that a bank is developing an app for people with early dementia who have trouble remember PINs etc.

  8. 0

    Many folk don’t carry cash at all so when their tap and go card doesn’t work or the ATM is down everything stops.
    I don’t like technology, I have worries about how it’s going to redesign and chew up my brain after I’ve contracted it out it to Google, Facebook and all the rest. Yes, I use ATM and online banking because I’ve been pushed into it but I get a guilty feeling that I’ll be the cause of someone losing their job.
    We used to be quite happy to meet and interact with a few good, reliable friends but now our young define themselves on how many ‘friends’ they have on Facebook, even though they’ve never met most of them or spoken face to face. Not good.

  9. 0

    The new CB. ATM. screens are not really user friendly,as the screen gets dirty as touch screens do they are becoming hard to read.In some cases the sun light shining on the screen can be a problem.Change for the sake of change me thinks.

    • 0

      I should think there’s are every germ known to man on the keyboard as well. Never touch your face or your eyes after you’ve touched one of those.

    • 0

      Not so long ago ,I entered my wife’s Westpac debit MasterCard into the ATM slot, and all the options came up in Vietnamese, at least that’s what I think it was, could have been any of the asian languages. After complaints about that it was eventually changed to English, though it took a few months. If you can’t read English, you shouldn’t be using an ATM for banking.

    • 0

      My wife and I like to travel, we use ATM facilities all the time, thank god that we don’t have to speak French or Italian or whatever when getting cash out when travelling overseas.

  10. 0

    I prefer Internet banking. I have had problems with bank tellers who can’t count. Besides I don’t like waiting in line or driving to banks I have better things to do. I don’t use ATMs because I normally pick up some cash at woollies when I do my shopping. If I talk to a bank it’s because I really have to. Trust me I try to avoid it.

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