"E-inclusion among older people is a worry for numerous national and international public bodies. We have shown that self-sufficiency and technological anxiety influence the behavior of older adults, as well as the perceived usefulness of an online service, such as, in this case, online banking. Therefore, on a social level, measures must be directed towards increasing their self-confidence and reducing the anxiety that participation in the online world produces", explains the University of Seville teacher Ángel Fco. Villarejo-Ramos.
The study, published by researchers from the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of Seville, enjoyed the participation of 576 students from the Aula de la Experiencía (Class of Experience) of the University of Seville and indicates, also, the lack of benefit or usefulness perceived in the use of these technologies, as other of the barriers that impede the use of online banking by older adults.
"We have to show them that these things are useful in their daily lives. In this sense, it would be interesting to show older adults who benefit from online services, who could serve as models to follow for their peers. In addition, we have shown the important influence of the environment of individual self-perception and behavior. The environment, of which family members and friends form part, can be converted into a very worthwhile tool for stimulating learning and increasing the use of online banking. The family environment makes it possible to increase their level of self-sufficiency and so reduce anxiety levels", the experts add.
The environment which older adults find themselves in has a powerful influence. Firstly, social influences from the near environment (social persuasion) can increase self-sufficiency and reduce anxiety by means of help, advice, and support from family and friends. Secondly, the experience lived, by means of advertising contexts that show older adults as models of behavior capable of managing an online service, such as digital banking. This projection of experience can be used as a source of self-sufficiency and make it possible for older adults to experience lower levels of anxiety.
The consequences of such communication favor active aging, social participation and the independence of older adults with regard to Information and Communication Technology. This will reduce public spending on dependence and improve the quality of life of older adults. Therefore, training, social support, and advertising are fundamental instruments for achieving the e-inclusion of older adults.
In summary, this work concludes that, to reduce anxiety and increase self-sufficiency, it is necessary to guarantee a safe, reliable, simple and private digital environment for older users. So, business have to communicate clearly the usability, guarantees, and security that their online services offer, underlining the benefits that can be obtained from their use while taking into account the circumstances of older adults. Businesses must design usable apps based on a user-friendly and accessible interface; show the experiences of other older users; and interactive designs that facilitate learning and the appearance of favorable affective states.