July 20, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Personal Finance | Happy to pay cash

Personal Finance |  Happy to pay cash

You have to reckon with them: Many seniors insist on paying cash.


A close example, so real: the journalist's mother.

She is an octogenarian lady, intelligent and interested in everything, with no cognitive problems. But she has never owned a computer or mastered the Internet, an electronic tablet or even a cell phone. Having been paralyzed by cloning a dozen years ago and not doing much damage, she no longer uses a bank card. She can count her annual credit card transactions on one finger: the annual maintenance of her car, which she's kept for more than 20 years and which she recently sold.

He did not withdraw money from the ATM except two or three times in the presence of his children. Every three weeks, she withdraws to her branch – always at the counter, displaying a bank book that is not seen in the Eco-Museum.

Everything is paid for in cash: groceries, clothes, purchases at the pharmacy. Also a dentist.

She spends less, it's true. But almost always in cash.

She is not alone.

“Without the ageless, some older people are used to cash and not familiar with computers,” says Gisele Tasse-Goodman, president of Reso Fadoc. “At a restaurant for their coffee, their donut, they'd rather pay with a $20 bill than take a credit card or pay contactless. »

In this attachment to notes, we recognize an element of loyalty to tradition, but we also implicitly perceive a reassuring relationship with concrete objects.

Gisèle Tassé-Goodman draws an analogy to turning the pages of a real book rather than sliding a finger across the smooth, cool surface of a tablet.

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“People have control of their $20 in their hands, in their wallet,” she explains.

Use of cash is not limited to notes. You also have to take currency into account.

A scene filmed in mid-June at a supermarket in east Montreal: an energetic septuagenarian pays cash for a few items at the checkout counter. The cashier counts out coins from the customer's outstretched hand making the exact payment.

“I do this often, it makes me happy,” says Daniel, a cashier.

There's no technical flaw here: a man carries a smartphone in a case hanging from his waist.

For many seniors, it's not so much a bias toward tickets as a bias toward electronic payments.

Photo provided by FADOQ

Gisele Tasse-Goodman

With fraud reported in online banking services, ATMs, credit card transactions, etc. it is understandable that some people have reservations about new digital technologies, especially their personal finances.

Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, President of the FADOQ Network

“These are things that scare some seniors and they prefer to pay in cash instead of paying with a credit card or going to a computer to pay a Hydro-Québec or telecommunications bill. »

Others fear that technological clumsiness will lead them to make digital mistakes.

“There are many barriers: not understanding how it works, lack of confidence in the technology, fear of making a mistake, not knowing what to do if there is a problem, or even the fear of waiting for other customers behind you when you pay at the cash register,” says a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in geriatrics. Brigitte Gilbert says.

“Let's not forget that for some seniors, going to the bank is also an opportunity to socialize,” she adds.

Literacy is a question

“We have a negative perception regarding the digital capabilities of the elderly, but in fact, with the right support and the right approach, these people have the ability to use digital technologies,” stated Patrick Boissy, full professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Sherbrooke and Research on Aging at CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS. Researcher at the Centre.

“But they're going to use them to do the things they want to do.” »

In particular, he is researching telehealth with older adults, some of whom need to acquire the digital skills necessary for their full participation.

“In the first two weeks there is a whole learning system to bring them up to a level of digital literacy that is appropriate for what we do. And the takeaway, I think, is that digital literacy is very specific to what you want to do. »

Elderly people often have an electronic tablet, emphasizes Patrick Boissy, “but what do they do with their tablets other than read? Press ? In a certain way, we need to support them, make them see the benefits of an activity, so that they can carry it out and gain confidence.

In terms of banking transactions, he gives the example of compensatory payments to participants through interac transfers.

“Out of 35 participants, maybe 8 will have to give a cheque,” he says.

“The good news is that three of these eight people managed to get the Interac transfer approved. They are now transacting with Interac e-transfers. »

The intergenerational digital divide was not what it was before the pandemic, which encouraged, if not forced, many seniors to learn computer technologies.

“There are very few people in these situations, but there is clearly a group of seniors who are currently facing digital exclusion when it comes to banking transaction applications,” he asserted.

Live and let pay

Regardless, cash payment remains a valid and relevant option.

“These people have habits, we have to respect that,” argued the president of the FADOQ network. We should not push the point, then assume that everyone will resort to new information technologies. »

“You know, it's important to emphasize that seniors are more connected,” she adds.

That is correct and the numbers in the next tab will show it.

“I'm happy to see progress on that front. But for those who don't want to, I say to myself: accept this situation, we're all different and where we are. »

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