Exploring How FinTech Can Help Senior Citizens Manage Their Money
When most people think about the market for financial technologies, they’re almost assuredly picturing Millennials and Gen Zers. However a small but growing trend finds FinTechs focusing on a different age group: the elderly. As the Wall Street Journal reports, a number of firms are creating tools for senior citizens and their adult children.
Among these companies is EverSafe, which is an account monitoring tool that loved ones can use to ensure their family members aren’t being financially exploited by caretakers or other individuals. This service actually fills a growing need as the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau (CFPB) found that, in 2017, there were approximately 3.5 million incidents of financial exploitation carried out against senior citizens. In fact, among those aged 70 to 79, the average loss per incident was a staggering $43,300.
Also mentioned in the Journal’s round-up is True Link Financial that offers a special debit card aimed at the elderly. Features on the card include the ability to specify what retailers a card can be used at and set limits to how much can be spent. Meanwhile Golden is a service that not only allows family members to monitor their loved ones’ finances and help them pay bills but also evaluates accounts to find unnecessary expenses.
While these companies may be well-intentioned, they do face an uphill battle in proving themselves to be trustworthy. FinTechs have already been met with skepticism from some consumers as well as regulators, so it only makes sense that older adults would have concerns about embracing new technologies and companies. As Aging in Place Technology Watch founder Laurie Orlov explains, “Anybody entering this field with software has got to figure out a way to make it extremely convincing that they are not in any way going to misuse personal information, or accidentally, enable misuse.”
However what may be turning the tide is that the children of these older adults are starting to become more familiar with these technologies. Moreover these family members may be realizing that these solutions could allow them to take care of their aging parents from a distance. Evin Ollinger, founder of the aforementioned Golden, put it this way: “People don’t live with their parents anymore. How do you take care of your parents when you live 3,000 miles away? You do it online, on your phone, and you are alerted when you need to help them out.”
Overall the companies WSJ highlights along with several others are helping show that financial technology innovations aren’t just for younger people. Similarly, while some people have a narrow idea of what FinTech is, these solutions show that there are still plenty of applications to be found. Ultimately, each of these technologies is helping adults, their parents, and other loved ones live better financial lives.