How we helped our 95-year-old grandmother learn about technology


With checks soon to be a thing of the past, more and more Kiwis are banking online.

But for those who are perhaps a little less tech savvy, the world of online banking can be daunting.

Louisa Brock runs Westpac NZ’s Extra Care program and says people – especially family members – are key to helping people feel comfortable going digital.

“My mom Jean, 95, can’t wait to keep up and doesn’t want to be left behind. Momma’s key way of doing his banking was through checks; she used them to pay her bills, pay her annual bowling fees, donate to her favorite charities, give her 13 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren money for their birthdays, ”explained Brock.

“Mom was so thrilled that we grandchildren were teaching her internet banking and as the family banker it was up to me to help her with online banking lessons.

Brock said it’s important to make the online experience welcoming and user-friendly from the start, creating a relaxed vibe for the future 95-year-old online banker.

“The first thing the family did was go shopping and bring her an iPad. It took a few lessons for mom to feel comfortable with online banking and we also set up her bill recipients like the bocce club and charities which means she can always help. support these charities close to his heart, ”said Brock.

And it’s this kind of experience that Brock and his colleagues at Westpac want everyone to have as they transition to online banking platforms.

Customers can book one-on-one with banking staff at their local branch to browse their options, whether it’s technical training or exploring other ways to do banking, such as telephone banking services or the use of one of Westpac’s specialist services for the blind or hard of hearing.

“While not all families can afford an iPad, any customer with a landline or cell phone can do their banking at their own pace. And if they need help, the patient and helpful Westpac staff are just a phone call away, ”said Brock.

“We are partnering with SeniorNet to offer seminars on how to use our website and app, should anyone wish to return to class.”

Brock’s efforts to help his mom with the task of transitioning to online banking are the perfect example of what must happen when a new generation learns about internet banking.

“Whether it’s a family member, an evening class, or a chat with your local Westpac banking team, the important thing is to treat people like people and guide them through step by step experience, ”said Brock.

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