New initiative helps older Australians access online banking with confidence

A new course launched by the eSafety Commissioner today, as part of the Be Connected program, seeks to make online banking both safer, and more accessible, to more older Australians. 

While two-thirds of seniors do undertake online banking at least monthly, many are still reticent to, mainly due to security concerns, so this course is vital to increasing their confidence. 

“We take for granted that online banking has been widely adopted, but for many older Australians, ‘taking the plunge’ can be a huge leap of faith — the idea of having your money accessible and transferrable with one click can be both liberating and incredibly frightening,” said eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant. 

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said 75% of older Australians were concerned about the safety and security of online banking, so we designed the course around building their confidence in this area. 

The course will teach older Australians to transfer funds, check balances, download statements, pay bills - and will help them to set strong passwords, avoid scams and use safe ways to communicate with their bank,” she said.

It also features a simulated online bank, called Squirrel Bank — to help older Australians practice skills learned in the course and help increase their confidence to bank online.

 “Learning how to access online banking safely is critical for older Australians,” added Inman Grant.   

Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh welcomed the initiative from the eSafety Commissioner. 

“We want banking to be accessible and safe for all bank customers. Be Connected will help older customers gain the confidence they need to bank online. 

“Importantly the module covers both banking essentials and online safety information to help warn people of potential fraud and scams. 

“Remember a bank will never ask for your account details, PIN or passwords,” she said.
 
The Be Connected program is an Australian government initiative committed to improving the online confidence, skills and safety of older Australians. The new online banking course can be found on the Be Connected site. 

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