June 6, 2019 Last updated June 5th, 2019 119 Reads share

The essential 5-step process to make senior customers comfortable banking online

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Every day, more of the world is moving online – you can now do everything from book a flight to order pizza from the comfort of your own home.  And of course, order just about anything in the world to be delivered to your door in two days or less!  Financial services – both investing and online banking – can be done from your browser or your phone with ease.

I’m a member of Gen X. I started using email and the Internet when I entered university. I’m old enough that I taught myself some basic HTML from scratch, cause it was the only way to get anything online in those days!  So – I’m pretty comfortable doing most things on the Internet – everything from looking for work to ordering LEGO.

The previous generations, including “Baby Boomers” (starts after World War II) and “The Silent Generation”  (starts in 1925) didn’t start using the Internet until reasonably late in their working careers if they used it all.  So they are not necessarily very comfortable or familiar with the Internet and everything it has to offer.

As banks make more options available online, it’s important to remember that not everyone (no matter what their generation) will be comfortable with the idea of online banking. Almost 70% of Canadians bank online though – and that number will continue to rise!

To help your senior customers become more comfortable with the idea of banking online, follow these steps:

  1. Sell your customers on the concept of online banking
  2. Book an in-person meeting.
  3. Walk them through online banking set up.
  4. Provide a written record.
  5. Follow up afterward

1. Sell your customer on the idea of online banking

There are a lot of benefits to online banking, so sell your customer on them. Tell them how online banking offers:

  1. Convenience: Online accounts never close! You don’t have to wait in line or worry about getting to the branch before it closes. If your client is mobility-challenged, being able to check a bank balance or pay a bill online will save them a lot of hassle!
  2. Customer Service: Most online banks offer a variety of ways to get help fairly quickly. Banking Web sites provide information around the clock on everyday tasks (everything from logging in to transferring money), and personal support can be reached via live chat, email, or telephone.
  3. Features: Online banking can offer things like mobile cheque deposits and free online bill paying – you can even pay your property taxes online!
  4. Pricing: Customers may be able to save money by performing transactions online instead of in person or by mail.

2. Book an in-person meeting

Some clients may be comfortable setting themselves up online at home without any help. Others may want you to help walk them through the process. Take the following steps to ensure your customer comes prepared to the meeting:

  1. Book a time to meet with them.
  2. Provide them with a handout that clearly states whatever information (bank card, desired ID and password requirements, etc.) they will need to bring to the meeting. Don’t assume they’ll know what they need or look it up online.
  3. If your bank has them, provide a link to an online video so they can watch it ahead of time to know what the process will involve.

3. Walk them through the process

Once the client arrives for the meeting, you are now ready to help get them set up online. Follow these steps to  set them up successfully:

  1. Ensure they have all the information that you need – such as their bank card, desired ID, and password.
  2. Before actually setting them up, walk them through the process. If you have an interactive demo, your customers can “play” with, and this may help improve their comfort level. If not, walk them through a video that shows the process. Be sure you let them walk through the demo or video at their own pace!
  3. Set them up for online banking!

4. Make sure everything is written down

You’ve now successfully set the customer up for online banking. Congratulations! Before they leave, make sure you have all of the information available to them in a hard copy format they can take with them:

  1. The URL of the online banking site.
  2. Their ID and password
  3. A list of any other steps they may need to take after they log in for the first time

Talk to your client about specific details that apply to them – which accounts they can expect to see when they log in (for example, banking only, banking and credit cards specific to your bank, etc.)

5. Follow up afterward

Give your client a few days to get a chance to try logging onto online banking and then follow up with them. They may have gotten stuck logging on and be too embarrassed to tell you! Or they may have found they love online banking and are ready to try new things like paying their bills online! Either way, following up with your client ensures that they will be able to succeed in their brand new world of online banking!

You’re ready to get started

You now know the five essential steps to getting your senior clients comfortable banking online:

  1. Sell your customers on the idea!
  2. Book an in-person meeting to get them set up.
  3. Walk them through online banking set up at their own pace.
  4. Provide a written record of anything essential they need to know.
  5. Follow up afterward to see if they have any questions or concerns.

Keep these points in mind, and you’re well on your way to being set to introduce your clients to the wonderful world of online banking. Let me know in the comments what other tips you have!

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Ellen McKay

Ellen McKay

Ellen is a freelance writer with over 15 years of experience as a business analyst and technical writer. She has a strong background in technology and finance and loves taking complicated ideas and explaining them in an innovative and easy to understand way.

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