Although many older people – and particularly the ‘eighty somethings’ that took part in the New Approaches to Banking for the Older Old project – rely on the traditional cheque as a means for making payments, they are equally aware that cheques are expensive for banks to process and time consuming for those who receive them. In response to this, we developed a system that kept the traditional cheque intact for those making a payment but made its depositing and processing quicker.
In this design, the user deposits a cheque by inserting it into the top of a scanner that digitises the written information. The system was also designed to challenge some of the values and opinions of our participants – who very much valued the fact that traditional cheques are a physical record of a transaction that is kept by the bank for a certain period of time after a deposit is made. In this system, in order to confirm the deposit is complete, the cheque is shredded after it is scanned. The shredded pieces of paper are collected in a ‘bin’ at the base of the shredder. The digital cheque depository supports the continuation of the traditional cheque as well as increasing its efficiency in terms of processing. However, it also challenges many of the experiential qualities our participants found desirable in cheques – for example, the cheque no longer goes through physical checking at the bank branch and there is no longer a permanent physical record.
Part of the New Approaches to Banking for the Older Old project.