More over-55s going online in lockdown, but many still shun digital banking

20 May 2020

Older generations apprehensive about security and struggle with web access


People over 55 are using digital services than ever before since the introduction of the lockdown, but many of them still will not bank online, research shows.

More than half (54%) of over 55s are using the internet more since the start of the pandemic, according to Santander.

One in five (17%) of this age group have signed up to at least three new online entertainment, socialising or shopping services since the pandemic began. 

They put their increased online usage down to spending more time indoors, saving time and wanting to join in with what their friends and family are doing.

However, while more people over 55 are going online, almost one in five (16%) in this group are choosing not to use their bank’s digital services. 

Santander says the over-55s are the age group most reluctant to bank online since the pandemic began.

However, the bank’s online chat service, which allows customers to do tasks such as balance enquiries, has been more popular since the pandemic began.

The over-55s account for one in four (27%) of all users of this online chat in March.

While the growth of digital banking means you never have to step foot in a branch again, many people are still apprehensive about going online.

One reason people do not bank online is because they are worried about security issues.

Lots of people also do not have the option of going online to bank as they do not have access to the internet, or live in a part of the country where web speeds are so slow this becomes impossible.

With banks increasingly closing physical branches to focus on online banking there are also fears that customers could be left behind.

Additionally, if someone has a financial emergency during the lockdown period it will be much quicker and safer to tackle for users of online banking.

Chris Ainsley, head of fraud strategy at Santander UK, says: “For those who feel confident and comfortable after experimenting with other online services, then now is a perfect time to put digital banking to the test."   

Tips for staying safe when banking online

Keep your login details safe at all times. Avoid writing them down and do not share them with anyone.

Never share your One Time Passcode (OTP) with anyone. 

Never let a cold caller talk you into giving them access to your device or downloading software.

Do not be lulled into entering your online banking details after clicking a link in an email or text message. If you are logging in to online banking, type the full address into your web browser.

Install the latest security updates to your system software as they become available. 

Make sure you fully log out of online and sign out of the mobile app once you’re done if you are using public wi-fi.

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