The elderly

Forum: Digitalisation push not always in seniors' interest

An elderly man using a mobile phone in Toa Payoh Central on Oc 2, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

In the push to go digital, perhaps some forget Singapore's fast-ageing population (Telcos should give hard copies of contracts, by Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi, Nov 4).

As seniors, our memory and eyesight do not work as well as they used to. We have trouble viewing and remembering the many digits of the one-time passwords sent to us.

Our fingers are not nimble or steady enough to target those numbers on our phones or laptops when required. We might not be able to do what is required within the time limit that we are given. We might not have younger people to help us.

Sometimes, some seniors do wonder if the push for digitalisation is more for the convenience of the telcos and financial institutions than it is a kind, thoughtful service to the customers.

While speed or convenient access to financial data might be priorities for younger people, they are not necessarily our priorities.

When I asked an organisation to provide hard copies, I was told that going digital will prevent mail from being lost or opened by the wrong people. But important mail can be registered so there is no fear of it being lost.

What seniors prize when it comes to financial matters are safety and security. With scams and data leaks seemingly reported every week, is it any wonder that some seniors are very hesitant to go digital when it comes to financial matters?

Younger people can recoup their financial losses. Seniors might not have the chance.

Hence, telcos and financial institutions should provide hard copies and non-Internet options to seniors who request them.

Lorna Khoo Lock Nah

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2020, with the headline Forum: Digitalisation push not always in seniors' interest. Subscribe