Help our elderly with their finances: what has happened to passbooks?


The emergence of new technologies in the financial sector and banks' commitment to digitalisation have led to an ever increasing number of customers carrying out their financial transactions exclusively over the Internet, through online banking or their bank's app, without having to go into their branch. This trend has caused traditional banking products, such as passbooks, to fall into disuse and only be used on a residual basis.

However, there are still customers, especially elderly customers, who are not used to using online banking and who prefer to go into the branch to update their passbook and keep track of their banking activity (which it is also possible to do at some ATMs). As has been stressed in previous posts in this series, these people need our help to overcome their misgivings and to be able to choose between face-to-face services and online banking.

The passbook is a paper booklet that records all the activity that occurs in a given bank account and is intended to record the inflows and outflows of the savings account associated with the passbook. Traditionally, they offer various functionalities such as withdrawing/depositing cash at the ATM or branch, consulting bank transactions or accessing the bank account from the ATM. However, with the emergence of online banking and bank cards, passbooks have largely ceased to be used, as they do not provide any additional advantage to encourage their use, and they  have even been withdrawn at some banks.

Therefore, it may be useful to explain to our elderly the reasons why passbooks have fallen into disuse and offer them information on the various alternatives available to them to carry out their financial transactions and keep track of them. In fact, we can stress that it tends to be more convenient to carry a bank card than a passbook, as it takes up less space, and that online banking or the bank's app allow you to access more transactions than those offered by traditional passbooks and to consult and manage your banking activity from your mobile phone without having to go into a bank branch.

With our commitment, we can help them overcome the difficulties and possible fears that may arise when using these more modern means.

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