Recently Kiwibank announced that their cheque service will cease on February 28, 2020. There has been little discussion about this and there’s likely to be a landslide effect. Where one bank goes; others will follow.
The banks will all know the numbers of people such a policy will affect. There are multiple thousands of people around New Zealand who use cheques. Kiwibank alone has said of their customers, 5,400 write cheques monthly. An important question to ask is ‘what is the dollar value of these accounts’? I suspect it will be reasonably low for a number of reasons, including the banks who have already sold older people the loans and mortgages they sought earlier in their lives, and which they would have largely repaid with the accompanying interest. The once good customers risk becoming dispensable.
Don’t believe everything you hear about older people being great internet adopters. Many are, but there are large numbers who aren’t (think about cost, software and hardware upgrades, the complexity of some programmes, no one to help when things go wrong, disability etc.). Research shows that there is an increase in digital drop off around age 75.
New Zealand has an ageing population and one thing we need to do is make sure that as people get older their contribution remains valued and they continue to be viewed as vital members of our communities. The restorative model of health aims to keep people out of hospitals as much as possible. Evidence continues to grow confirming that how people feel about themselves and their place in society has an impact on their health; for better or worse.
One of the first things that cuts the rug from under one’s feet is the loss of independence. Our society values independence.
The often gradual but cumulative effects of loss of functional independence has a big impact on mental and physical health. And the more we remove tasks from people the more they become disempowered, disengaged and the more others need to do for them or have oversight of them.