Concerns have been raised that the elderly would be left behind as society moves away from cash and towards digital transactions. Factors such as shifting demographics, rising costs, and new technologies all play a role in this development.
Lack of access to digital technology and services is a significant barrier for the elderly. Unfortunately, because many seniors have not had the training or opportunity to get experience, they lack the necessary skills and confidence to effectively use modern technological tools.
Because of this, it may be difficult for them to use services that increasingly need digital literacy and internet connectivity, such as online banking, shopping, and healthcare.
The high cost of digital gadgets and the broadband internet necessary for many online services makes them out of reach for many seniors.
The inability to move about freely and independently is another issue that affects the elderly. Age-related illnesses like arthritis, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease cause mobility issues for many seniors. For those who don't have a car or easy access to public transit, this might make it tough for them to leave the house and use in-person services and resources.
Cost of living crisis
The elderly confront additional difficulties in today's cashless society due of economic demands.
Due to rising prices caused by inflation, many retirees on fixed incomes may find it difficult to meet their basic needs.
Furthermore, many elderly people, especially those without access to comprehensive health insurance, may find the cost of healthcare and long-term care to be unaffordable.
The trend, which is created by developers and designers who focus on ease-of-use from their smartphone, create the demand and trend towards a cashless economy, this compounds difficulties by reducing the range of payment methods available to the elderly.
Credit cards and digital wallets are two of the most common forms of electronic payment used by stores and services today, especially in metropolitan areas. This can be problematic for the elderly who rely on cash, checks (cheques) or automatic transfers into their bank account for their primary means of payment because they may not have access to these options.
The social distance between us
Many older people are at danger of becoming socially isolated and excluded as a result of these difficulties.
They may not have easy access to the supports and services they need to maintain their independence and dignity, leaving them feeling isolated from their communities. This can significantly lower their standard of living and threaten their physical and mental health.
Inclusive design methodology
The transition to a cashless society poses a variety of difficulties for the elderly, but there are ways to help them thrive. One effective method is to provide seniors easy access to digital tools and services designed with them in mind. One way to accomplish this is by making gadgets and internet access more accessible and inexpensive.
To accommodate customers who are unable or unwilling to utilise electronic payment methods, businesses and organisations might provide other options including cash and checks.
Providing older people with easy access, training and support and payment methods like pre-paid cards for transport and other sorts of assistance so that they may go directly to where the services and resources they need to use is another option.
Services like healthcare and meal delivery, as well as public transportation and volunteer transportation, may fall under this category.
It's crucial to take into account the specific requirements of the aged and design policies and practises accordingly.
AI / Machine learning
We are aware that many governments and societies are looking at how AI algorithms work and that their outcome is not based on in-built discrimination and takes into account and does not discriminate against gender, race or skin colour, but rarely is age mentioned in these reports.
Policies that safeguard the rights and dignity of the elderly may include the development of age-friendly communities, the encouragement of links between different generations, and training and access to services to ensure that a whole sector of our community isn't left behind.
In conclusion, the transition to a cashless economy poses serious difficulties for the elderly, who may have trouble making use of the digital and mobile infrastructure required to take use of available services and resources.
Access to digital technologies and services, alternative payment methods, transport services, and other forms of support, and the development of policies and practises that are responsive to the unique needs and preferences of elderly individuals are all necessary to address these challenges.
As a result of these measures, seniors will have better opportunities for independent living, dignity, and access to necessary supports as they age.
Emergency Alert Services
Many elderly who either cannot afford internet connection at home, or cannot use a smartphone, smart speaker like the Amazon Alexa, or do not want these are excluded from the getting the benefits or easy to use emergency alert apps and services, which our organisation "My SOS Family" also provide.
Care givers and family members of vulnerable elderly people who require an emergency alert service end up paying significantly higher monthly costs, this is usually for a panic button pendant that is connected to a monitoring centre.
That's why My SOS Family also has an easy-to-use Speed-Dial number that it gives to users who add it to their corded or cordless landline phone, or basic cell phone. They either add the speed-dial number as a contact to be called or assign it to one of the digits that simply requires a long-press (like when access voicemail by long-pressing the "1" digit).
Simply calling the My SOS Family Speed-dial number triggers the automated emergency response alerting service and gives users and their family and care-givers the same service as using a smart-phone.