Unicaja Banco, aware of the importance of improving the skills of senior citizens in handling financial management services, especially through digital channels, is promoting training actions aimed at this group. This initiative, which aims to boost financial inclusion and the technological transition of this demographic, has so far benefited more than 2,200 people, who have participated in some thirty sessions, held in both urban and rural areas.
These workshops are held within the framework of Unicaja Banco's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the sectorial agreement signed last February to improve attention to vulnerable groups, including the over-65s. The sessions are carried out by the bank itself or in collaboration with the Edufinet Project, which the financial institution promotes together with Fundación Unicaja.
For Unicaja Banco, senior citizens are of priority interest, which is why the bank emphasizes the need for them to acquire the appropriate skills for managing their finances. In fact, in recent years, the bank has been developing financial education initiatives aimed at this demographic.
In addition, bearing the elderly and less digitized groups in mind, Unicaja Banco stresses that the financial digitization process should be inclusive, emphasizing principle two of the universal values of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): leaving no one behind, with the bank focusing on financial and digital inclusion.
All this, taking into account the digital transformation that the society is undergoing, which affects many of the procedures of daily life. In short, the goal is that senior citizens can get the most of the multiple options that digital resources offer nowadays, while improving their awareness of risks and opportunities.
Practical contents with digital resources
In these financial education sessions, a series of theoretical and practical contents are addressed, organized according to the previous level of knowledge of the attendees. The goal is to teach concepts related to financial education in general, with special emphasis on digital and online banking. In order to impart these contents in an eminently practical way, Unicaja Banco, aware of the technological needs of the elderly, has made tablets available to them.
In these financial education sessions, a series of theoretical and practical contents are addressed, organized according to the previous level of knowledge of the attendees. The goal is to teach concepts related to financial education in general, with special emphasis on the use of ATMs and digital banking (web and app). In order to impart these contents in an eminently practical way, Unicaja Banco, aware of the technological needs of the elderly, has made tablets available to them, so that they can make the most usual transactions in a simulated practical environment.
Regarding the specific topics addressed, special attention is given to cybersecurity and the main scams, as well as tips to avoid them. Topical issues such as inflation, cryptocurrencies or the importance of sustainable finance, among others, have also been addressed.
This initiative began in Andalusia, where around thirty training activities have already been carried out, both in urban and rural areas, and activities have also been organized in Extremadura. The plan is to organize workshops in the rest of the autonomous communities. In fact, sessions are already scheduled in Castilla y León, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Cantabria and Asturias, among other regions.
A team of more than 30 volunteers, mainly professionals with extensive experience in the field and most of whom belong to Unicaja Banco, is responsible for the development of the workshops.
Measures to ensure financial inclusion
Following the adhesion to the strategic protocol promoted by the sector to strengthen the social and sustainable commitment of the banking sector, especially with the elderly, Unicaja Banco has also implemented a series of measures.
Among them, the extension of the opening hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for cash services, provided at the teller window or at the ATM; specific training for employees and customers; implementation of preferential telephone service free of charge, Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 22:00; improvement of the accessibility and simplicity of the ATM network, and a commitment to repair out-of-service ATMs to ensure the supply of cash within a maximum of two working days.
In addition, Unicaja Banco has joined a framework collaboration agreement with the Junta de Andalucía, with the aim of reducing the digital gap through the development of training actions and communication processes adapted to senior citizens.
On the other hand, Unicaja Banco also continues to work, both internally and in collaboration with the financial sector and local administrations, in the search for other solutions to contribute to the financial inclusion of the elderly, in order to continue to offer them the best service and greater personalization through its different customer service channels.
In this context, in some provinces, especially in rural areas, agreements have been reached with public administrations (provincial or local councils) to enable the maintenance of financial services, including the installation of ATMs in areas of low population density or where there is little financial supply.