DR NORMAN Dunn, Minister of State for the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade, has warned Gateway Co-operative Credit Union against any plans that will marginalize or expose the elderly to financial risk as they try to roll out their facilities of online banking.
The five-year-old financial institution, which was formed in 2017 through a merger between Montego Co-operative Credit Union and Hanover Credit Union, as part of its technology upgrade, has indicated that they will soon offer services of online banking
“With the push of online services, the push of ATMs, I urge Gateway to remember the people who can’t access the digital platform,” said Dr. Dunn last Thursday while delivering the keynote address at Gateway Co-operative Credit Union. annual general meeting, Noel Fraser Auditorium, West Jamaica Conference, Mount Salem, St James.
“Credit unions are people’s movements, and so when you’re looking to roll them out, keep in mind that you’ve got grandmas, grandpas and a whole host of people who are very protective of their private information and sometimes you see them at ATMs and they’ve to ask someone (for assistance) or send a relative,” he said.
STRONGER THAN BEFORE
The Minister of State pointed out that in many cases the elderly do not want their relatives to know about their business, but are forced to share it because of the push for the banking sector to operate in the digital economy.
Dunn said ways need to be found to embrace people who aren’t up to date with new technology, especially seniors.
Home Banking, a self-help portal, ATM and the provision of a Mastercard debit card to facilitate local and international transactions are among the services that Gateway, the country’s sixth largest credit union, is trying to roll out.
In an earlier speech, Pastor Glenroy Clarke, chairman of the board of Gateway Co-operative Credit Union, said the financial institution continues to use technology to drive its business and make it more convenient.
He noted that because of technology, the prospects are excellent for making Gateway the financial institution of choice.
“As we move into 2022, I believe Gateway is stronger than ever. We aim to use technology to significantly drive our business to stay efficient across the board and stay agile and resilient, as we move forward in the next few years,” Clarke said.
While he supports the credit union’s initiative to embrace technology and its push to operate on the digital platform, Dr Dunn warned against any push that removes face-to-face interaction with seniors.
“As you consider and contemplate (online services), remember these people and how they can be as inclusive as possible because in most cases they are your members,” he said. “As you look to offer online banking, remember the seniors who are not yet steeped in the technology landscape.”