In the research stage of the “New Approaches to Banking for the Older Old” project, we conducted interviews with people aged eighty and upwards to understand the ways they managed their finances and any struggles they had with aspects of the current system.
A concern that continually came up was that the banks would stop allowing people to use cheques. Cheques were identified by many as an easy way to make payments, especially for those who cannot easily travel to withdraw money from the bank or are unable to use the internet to transfer it. Cheques give people a greater sense of security, as they have a designated payee and the stub is left behind as a record of what money has been paid out. Many people also felt that a cheque was more suitable than cash when giving monetary gifts.
Based on these interviews, we began exploring ways to better integrate traditional paper cheques with digital banking systems. We came up with the idea of writing cheques using a digital pen, which would record the details of the cheque and upon completion of it being written would send the information to an online payment service such as PayPal. This would then transfer the requested funds to the correct person. This allows for all the benefits of cheques, while at the same time being a cheaper and easier transaction for the bank.
Part of the New Approaches to Banking for the Older Old project
Press Release: The Joy of Cheques