Cashless society: Lack of access to online services threatens to leave older people behind


There are fears that older people will be left behind as cashless payment becomes more popular, but small businesses are increasingly adapting to the trend away from notes and coins.

ge Action, the independent national organization for aging and older people, said the older generation faced specific challenges when it came to cashless payment methods.

Celine Clarke, spokeswoman for Age Action, said that as cashless payment methods were generally used in online activities, older people were more vulnerable.

“People find it difficult to access services like online banking due to lack of devices, access or digital literacy.”

“Over 50% of people aged 65 to 74 have never been online. And beyond the age of 80, the number of people online is negligible.

A recent study by the Dublin Mint Office cited older people and small businesses as two of the main groups that would be vulnerable to these changes. Some 88% of respondents thought these groups would be disadvantaged.

However, Age Action, said many older people are adapting to cashless payments.

“It’s not a general question of age. We know of many older people who use cashless payment. They pay through phone apps, credit cards and all kinds of technology. It’s not a thing general of a group over 65. It’s not so much that they prefer cash, some just say they don’t like to do their banking online and that’s why they carry cash,” Ms. Clarke added.

As with seniors, small businesses face challenges with a cashless society model due to higher technology costs and bank fees.

Sven Spollen-Behrens, director of the Small Firms Association, said: “When the moves towards a cashless society began, there were fears that transaction fees would increase for the provision of electronic payment services.

“However, as cashless spending has increased, independent retailers now have access to new, low-cost, handheld card readers that can process contactless card and smartphone payments.”

Despite their concerns about a cashless society, 66% of respondents in the study still find cashless payment methods more convenient.

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