Which bank insults seniors?

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?

Written by Kaye Fallick

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