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From the Silver Economy to ‘Silver Autonomy’

11 July 2019

 

The Silver Economy – the market represented by senior citizens – will form a sizeable part of the digital economy going forward, as providers seek to help elderly people to retain their independence, maintain social links and find entertainment. 

In a world where people are living longer, better and in relatively good health, we need to alter our views on ageing. It is an unfortunate fact that human societies tend to perpetuate myths about the ageing process which can lead to elderly people being marginalised, forced into solitude and all too frequently left in despair.

In her celebrated book La Vieillesse, (published in English as ‘The Coming of Age’), Simone de Beauvoir wrote regarding the elderly that ‘their unhappy fate is an indictment of our entire civilisation’. Nowadays, however, this segment of the population is being viewed in a whole new way and there is an increasing number of initiatives underway focusing on their economic, social and creative potential.

 

Senior citizens becoming more active and more connected 

So who exactly are these senior citizens? Serge Guérin, a sociologist who specialises in the Silver Economy, speaks of the “economy of longevity”. He explains: “The idea is all about adapting supply to demand so as to meet the requirements of a public that we call ‘senior citizens’, i.e. people who are now over 60.  A very small proportion of these people are physically or mentally frail, but the vast majority of them just need to make some adjustments so as to go on living their lives as independently as possible.” This assessment is confirmed by a recent survey, among some 7,200 people aged 50 or over, conductedby the French Institute for Senior Citizens (IFS) on behalf of Domytis, a French company that runs serviced residences for elderly people. The survey results revealed that these older people are often still in excellent form. In fact, eight out of every ten respondents said they were satisfied with their “state of health and their relationship with their family.” Moreover, around 58% “do not regard themselves as senior citizens” and 92% “do not regard themselves as old”. Nevertheless, the survey report underlines that “72% of them stated that they felt anxious about their future”, especially as regards becoming dependent on their families, mentioned by half of the respondents, and their state of health, mentioned by eight out of ten. These are precisely the issues that have prompted a number of entrepreneurs to take an interest in what happens to elderly – and not so elderly – people, at a time when the ageing of the population is driving structural changes in our society. Figures published by France’s Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) project that “by 2050, mainland France will have between 61 and 79 million inhabitants, depending on the accuracy of various hypotheses regarding fertility, mortality and migration rates. Close to one person in three will be over 60 years of age, versus one in five in 2005.

The Silver Economy, a concept which was first put forward several years ago, is all about coming up with innovative services designed to improve the quality of life of senior citizens, providing them with greater independence and helping to maintain

their social links with family and friends. Going beyond this, by drawing on the new digital technologies, a further aim is to alleviate their anxieties by helping them to stay in good health and providing them with new kinds of entertainment. In fact, contrary to common prejudice, the senior citizens of today often make considerable use of online tools. The IFS survey mentioned above reveals that “68% of all seniors (even 55% of the over-75s) are on Facebook and more than half use Skype.” This is a key indicator, showing their strong desire to keep up social contacts and family ties.

 

According to the latest Ipsos barometer for the Cercle des Epargnants, the majority of French people have a positive vision of retirement, associated with new life and leisure. But their main fear towards aging well is to lack resources their retirement serenely.

That's why since 2010 BNP Paribas Cardif has been offering an information area dedicated to retirement. His vocation:

- To give the keys to understand the functioning of the pension system,

- To provide useful tools to take stock of one's personal situation,

- and to be able to decide, in full knowledge, actions to take to prepare for retirement and live well, once the time comes.

Find all the retirement information on la-retraite-en-clair.fr or on Twitter and Facebook

 

Overcoming dependence and boosting social links

The new digital technologies thus appear to be valuable aids in preserving senior citizens’ independence, with two particular needs at the forefront:  health and social contact. Recent advances in home automation (known as ‘domotics’), based on connected objects for the home, are tending to make day-to-day tasks easier to perform, improving both wellbeing and basic autonomy among the elderly. Items of household equipment, increasingly linked to the Internet and to each other, are becoming more automated and programmable, enabling senior citizens to remotely control window-blinds, the washing machine and the ambient temperature. If older people are determined to stay on in their own homes, then the house itself will need to adapt to their needs, even to the extent of becoming a connected service hub that is fully personalised to individual requirements. This is indeed the case with the automated house created by Cluster senior, a group of companies and service providers in Northwestern France that has been designed from top to bottom with the goal of enabling older people to remain in their own homes. This revolutionary home

provides two key added benefits: safety and security; and adaptability. It is highly adaptable to the decreasing mobility of its residents and is equipped with sensors designed to detect a fall and alert the family or carers.

The last thing the Silver Economy technicians want to do is shut up our aged parents in a gilded cage and increase their dependency. On the contrary, their aim is to give them greater autonomy and enable social contact. Under this approach, elderly people are also encouraged to take responsibility for self-manage their health and following treatment. In this regard, Virtual Reality tools can serve as a loyal companion. An example of this is Prévichute (‘Preparing for a Fall’),a serious VR game created by French remote assistance specialist Arkéa Assistance to enable elderly people to understand, in a fun way, why and how they might have a fall and prepare themselves in advance for such an eventuality. In a slightly different vein, MédiMoov draws on Virtual Reality to encourage movement and physical activity that will help people to age well. Finding information, preventing and anticipating problems, and obtaining assistance in a fun, entertaining way – this is the purpose of the VR tools that are beginning to flourish in the fertile landscape of the Silver Economy.  However, Serge Guérin warns that “the Silver Economy will not fulfil its aims if it tries to work on behalf of senior citizens. It will only succeed if it works together with them. It’s also vital to grasp that their financial means are not inexhaustible. This market is becoming ever larger but, at the same time, senior citizens’ purchasing power is limited. So some adjustments will be needed in order to ensure that these ways of doing things are accessible from a psychological point of view and also economically affordable.”

How to look after its health from home? It is what BNP Paribas Cardif France proposes with a tele-monitoring 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. A medical platform accompanies the elderly person in taking care of his health. In the event of a deterioration of health conditions, the platform receives an alert and takes over the elderly person.Thanks to those 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.

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.

 

Powered by Cardif Lab’, in partnership with L'Atelier BNP Paribas.


With UX Design, the customer-centric company truly becomes a reality

05 July 2019
Nanterre, July 2nd 2019

 

It’s almost become a cliché: you have to place the customer at the centre of the company’s attention, organisation and decisions. Any company that’s not customer-centric has no hope of success. But in practice? It means that it has become essential to understand customers’ needs perfectly, to know about their past difficulties, to identify the obstacles causing them to hesitate, to know what they get excited about. This is where UX Design comes in: a method and a set of tools that give us the means to ensure that customers are the cornerstone of all the work each of us does every day.

UX Design is one of the key training packages in our Skill Up’ programme, run in partnership with the training organisation General Assembly. Rapid prototyping, intense ideation and instant user tests are the basic principles of this innovative approach to the development of new services and products. As a result, project development is profoundly transformed. Here are the accounts of two of our employees, Jorge Claudio, Project Manager, and Aurélie Leborgne, Head of Internal Accounting Control Department.

 

What led to you taking the UX Design training?

Aurélie Leborgne: When I took the training, the accounting department had just begun its process of transformation. An initial three-month training plan had been put in place very recently. The department talked up what the training could offer but without revealing everything, in order to maintain its originality. I wanted to do it! So I took the version of UX Design training that was offered subsequently with a different format, concentrated into a week. I saw being able to support the new profiles and share a vision with them as adding something to my daily life and being a benefit to me as a manager. 

 

Jorge Claudio: I heard about it through conversations with other colleagues, who told me about design thinking*, about UX Design, and I could tell immediately that this would bring a new mindset to our working methods. I knew some of the tools specific to UX Design empirically, intuitively. The training provided an opportunity to approach them with a real customer-centric methodology, and carry out digital projects in a way that was very different from what we were used to. This very quickly made me want to take part.

 

Group work is very important in this training. Is there a particular reason?

A.L.: You’re right. There were about 25 of us, from different business areas, and we were divided into groups. So everybody contributed different expertise. Each group performed a full product design cycle, consisting of the key steps stipulated in the UX Design methodologies presented, through exercises that are immediately applicable. The aim is to produce a deliverable, such as a smartphone app or a website, for instance.

 

J.C.: We had different and heterogeneous profiles, with no real competence in UX Design. Some people were specialised in traffic building, others in project management. What was very good was that we started with a concrete case and carried out a mini-project in each group. Theory was introduced to illuminate this work, a method that gave us a good understanding of the purpose of each step in the methodology and helped us own the tools we were offered, which included Slack, InVision and Sketch. 

 

Tell us about the content and the strong points of the training.

A.L.: Much of the training revolved around timed exercises lasting a quarter of an hour, on very varied subjects. This helped us to understand quickly and move on rapidly. There has been a flurry of post-it notes and cross-checking of ideas to analyse the results of our “customer interviews”, to create user families, solutions. We manage to work out very quickly which ideas to take further.

 

J.C.: It was very intense! The organisation that delivers the training, General Assembly, brings with it an international vision – it’s not exclusively French – which is a bonus! Even the format of the presentations and exercises is very different compared to traditional training programmes. I appreciated the fact that first of all a macro vision of design thinking was presented, before going into the different stages and specific components of the methodology, from identifying a need to carrying out user surveys and prototyping an MVP (Minimum Viable Product**).

 

Did the training make you want to work differently and to see changes in your profession?

A.L.: Very much so! Ideation and prototyping take the form of drawing, cutting out and assembling elements… on paper. It’s very simple, but it has a powerful effect: you worry less about the imperfections of the solutions you devise, you don’t try to produce a perfect prototype, you work on the essential to produce a visual. More basically, I don’t necessarily apply every stage of the UX Design methodology to the projects I’m taking part in. But it’s a mentality, a way of seeing things that has now become part of my daily life. The idea is no longer to do what we are technically capable of doing… but to understand what’s really necessary.

 

J.C.: Yes. Not in every aspect of my work, of course. But, for example, for the development of functionalities, we compare our ideas with a survey of users’ real needs. On some of our projects, this has already enabled us to carry out some very relevant adjustments so that we can adapt them better to genuine customer expectations. UX Design provides simple tools that let professionals back up their convictions with quantitative and qualitative measurements.

 

If someone was hesitating whether or not to take this training, what would you say to encourage them to give it a try?

A.L.: Previously, I was regularly involved in middle and back office projects, and if corrections were necessary, this generally occurred when the projects were already well advanced. But it’s the opposite with UX Design: you ask the right questions straight away. Everything is quicker, you are more accurate, and you act more rapidly. You learn to multiply the possibilities, to approach solutions more efficiently, to be persuasive using good arguments that come from the users. And this is true for every profession: we all have clients… so being able to understand and adapt to their needs is essential! UX Design is quite simply another way of thinking and acting collectively.

 

J.C.: First of all, I would highlight the instructors’ listening skills, their ability to get us out of our normal thought processes as experts in our professions and give us a broader view. The simple, common sense questions they asked us were very useful for defusing technical discussions between experts, and focusing our minds on the essential, which is simply responding to the issue facing the customer. This is something that is really in our interest to do internally to advance our projects. In a word, or almost: it’s a training programme that encourages us to “open our chakras” and to change our working habits. This training seems to me to be beneficial for a lot of profiles in digital, but is not limited to that.

 

*Design thinking: a user-focused method of design that appeared in the 1960s, based on creativity, empathy, collaboration, iteration and trial and error.

**Minimum Viable Product (MVP): is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development.

 

The future of work at BNP Paribas Cardif

“We want to offer all our employees the possibility of being an integral part of our present and our future. Our employees have to be agile and to adapt constantly to new technologies so that they can derive the full potential of them. Two complementary approaches meet this double challenge: Strategic Workforce Planning, to anticipate the skills of tomorrow, and Always Learning, which enables our employees to acquire both the technical skills and soft skills they need for the transformation of their professions.”

Sophie Joyat, Head of Human Resources

 

“The way products and services are designed is changing to get closer to customer needs. This has involved a steady rise in the use of approaches inspired by design. So we wanted to offer a training in UX Design, which is as essential for our internal users as for our customers.”

Nathalie Doré, Chief Digital and Acceleration Officer

 

Retrouvez nos derniers articles sur le sujet

BNP Paribas Cardif : a learning company that shapes the future of work

Preparing for the jobs of tomorrow with General Assembly

Agile and customer-focused, Product Managers are reinventing their profession

 



We are accelerating our transformation to be CLOSER to the needs of our customers and bring them even MORE INNOVATIVE solutions.

We create BOLD services by working directly with our partners. We have forged increasingly close relationships with our partners since the founding of our company, teaming with them to explore new geographies, new approaches to business and new technologies. This unique approach to our business and the strength of our partnership-based model enable us to pursue the ambitious, future-facing mission we have set for ourselves: make insurance accessible to the LARGEST POSSIBLE NUMBER of people.

Our commitment to playing a USEFUL role in society figures at the core of our strategy. We have multiplied our initiatives to create a positive impact and we unify individual energies behind collective goals to make sure that the largest possible number of people enjoy access to the benefits of insurance.

 

>> Download BNP Paribas Cardif 2018 Business Report

>> Download BNP Paribas Cardif 2017 Business Report

                                                                                 

 


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BNP Paribas Cardif (2018)

                    

Download the summary of the SFCR of BNP Paribas Cardif group as at December 31, 2018 in czech 

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Cardif Assurance Vie (2018)

                    

Cardif Assurances Risques Divers (2018)

                      

Cardif IARD (2018)

                    

Natio Assurance (2018)

                    

BNP Paribas Cardif (2017)

                    

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