Nanterre, November 13th 2018
Nowadays we mainly hear about financial startups targeting the mass market or focusing on the Millennial generation. However, there are several other specific sections of the population – including for example women and refugees – that are also potential customers of advanced technology. This goes especially for older people, who represent a growing proportion of the US population and nowadays tend to remain in the workforce for a longer period of time.
"The relationship between aging and technology is burgeoning. There has been a good deal of progress in healthcare technology for consumers,” points out Elizabeth Loewy, co-founder and COO at EverSafe, a specialist in financial protection for families. Moreover “Fintech focused on financial health is just beginning to emerge. Ageing baby boomers approaching retirement are interested in using tech and AI for financial planning."
Fintech firms that target the senior segment of the population typically address twin goals: protecting older people’s finances while ensuring that they do not surrender their independence. One example is online platform Cake, in business for just three years now, which focuses on ‘end-of-life’ decision-making such as managing the customer’s legal and financial affairs and legacy planning. The company helps those looking towards the final phase of their lives to draw up instructions in the legal and financial sphere – basically using digital tools to ensure that their last wishes are honoured. Meanwhile True Link offers a service that includes an investment account plus customised Visa card with specific features designed to safeguard the financial well-being of elderly persons.
The Silver Economy market is a fairly attractive one, given that, according to Elizabeth Loewy, "by 2050 the number of seniors in the US will nearly double. And seniors currently hold more than 70% of the nation’s wealth. More important, I know from my previous role as a fraud prosecutor how common and devastating elder financial abuse is – it kills seniors and shatters families.” Her startup has therefore set itself the mission of protecting elderly people from financial scams and swindles by using algorithms to detect suspicious movements on their bank accounts. In the same vein, the Senior Money Project provides educational videos free of charge to older people to help them spot scams and fraudulent schemes. EverSafe goes even further than this: its software analyses banking data in order to identify any irregularities, such as unusual outgoings, often of high amounts, the existence of new credit cards, outstanding transactions, etc.
EverSafe’s credo is that “protecting the financial security of older adults and their families is a critical aspect of healthcare." It is usually family members who contact the company. "We’re contacted by seniors and ageing baby boomers who are concerned about their parents and loved ones,” reveals the COO. EverSafe also works in partnership with financial sector professionals such as financial planning specialists, brokers, banks, cooperative lending associations, company HR departments, accountants and financial tutors, among others.
This extended vigilance, embracing multiple fields, is absolutely essential, given that the risk of scams or identity-theft increases as people get older and let their guard down. "Enhanced algorithms, machine learning and software that sends alerts to a team of caregivers in real time may very well make elder financial abuse a thing of the past," foresees Elizabeth Loewy, pointing out: "With seniors’ increasing use of online banking and the internet, fraud-monitoring fintech tools can be implemented by financial institutions."
In any case, the senior citizens of today are not quite like those of previous generations. They are generally fitter and in better health, more enthusiastic about modern technology, and keen to prolong their active lives. They are therefore less likely to find employers’ doors closed to them. Lexy Martin, a woman in her seventies who works at Visier Inc., a company that applies Big Data analytics to the HR field, writes in an article: “Even though I am past the average age of retirement, I love my work and am particularly sensitive to the idea that someone could lose the opportunity to work simply because of their age." Drawing on a report on Ageism in the Tech Industry compiled by Visier, she argues that organisations “need to cast their hiring nets wider to gain the skills and expertise they need in a time of a seller’s talent market, and they also need to work to retain the skills and expertise of their existing older workforce, for the same reason."
In a society where getting older is not necessarily associated with declining abilities, the Tech world appears to be fully aware that elderly people can carve out a place for themselves on the supply side of the economy as well as the demand side. As digital tools become ever more widespread, digital solutions are becoming increasingly accessible to all and many Fintech firms clearly understand the importance of addressing a variety of different publics. Might the days of ageism be numbered?
How to look after its health from home? It is what BNP Paribas Cardif France proposes with an online health offer for seniors.
Génération Care is a program developped in partnership with doctors to improve and maintain elderly persons' health thanks to their relatives' involvement.
The principle is simple. The idea is to collect patient's datas from 3 instruments - a scale, a tensiometer, a podometer - which send information thanks to a tablet computer. According to these medical information and the limits previously defined by the referring physician, the tablet computer sends advices to the patient and text messages to relatives. If necessary, alerts are sent to a medical platform which will contact the senior to inform him about the process to be followed. Thanks to these information, it is possible to conduct efficient preventive actions to avoid or postpone the loss of autonomy of the patient and the beginning of his dependency.
The solution Génération Care was created by a Scientific Council composed of general practitioners, geritricians, nurses, physiotherapists and nutritionists. Génération Care was successfully tested in 2017 from about fifty patients, thirtty relatives and ten doctors.
BNP Paribas Cardif strive to make insurance accessible to the largest possible number of people. Thanks to this initiative, BNP Paribas Cardif supports the well-aging through a tablet computer application adapted and designed for elderly persons.
Written in partnership with l'Atelier