Visa, PA to teach seniors about digital payments

While they may own smartphones and use communication applications actively, seniors are not tapping the different digital payment options, a new study by Visa Singapore showed.

To help them familiarise with such apps, the firm will partner the People's Association (PA) to run lessons on digital payments.

The Visa Digital Inclusion Study, which surveyed 200 consumers here aged between 50 and 80, found that while 84 per cent of seniors own a smartphone and almost 90 per cent of them were familiar with messaging apps, only about 30 per cent have used mobile banking apps. It also found that only a fifth of them have used apps for online shopping.

As part of the PA's Seniors for Smart Nation programme, Visa and PA will teach seniors about digital payments at its learning space - Visa University.

Over the last year, public and private organisations have introduced a slew of programmes to help seniors be smart nation ready.

Last November, for instance, PA held courses where seniors were taught how to use common apps and social media, as well as how to keep devices safe.

Visa did not provide specific details of its upcoming sessions, but said they will consist of "hands-on training" as part of the curriculum.


Madam Bona Salim, 66, is a retiree who regularly shops online and uses e-payment options when making flight and hotel bookings.

She said that when she first learnt how to make online transactions about three years ago, she had no one to guide her. She "took it slow" as she was afraid of fraud.

"Many people in my age group are scared that people will cheat them. So they will ask their children to help them buy things online, because they do not know how to themselves," she said.

The study showed that when it came to shopping online, only a quarter of seniors said they had done so in the past year, with the majority saying they just did not know how to do it.

Ownership levels of credit and debit cards were relatively low at 46 per cent and 36 per cent respectively. About half of those polled said they preferred to use cash.

This, Visa said, reduces the ability of seniors to benefit from digital payment solutions.

But those who would rather use cash said they would be encouraged to switch to payment cards if they were reassured that transactions would be safe and quick.

Madam Bona said: "If there are people who can give some guidance, I am sure many other seniors would also want to perform online transactions because it really is easier."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2018, with the headline 'Visa, PA to teach seniors about digital payments'. Print Edition | Subscribe