Banking ain’t what it used to be 17



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A helpful guide to get you on top of your day to day banking activity

For those if us over the age of 60, the world of banking has changed significantly from the days of visiting a bank branch, writing a cheque and using cash to pay for things.

Nowadays, banking on a smartphone, paying with the wave of a card and paying bills online is the norm. Banking has changed rapidly and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone, comparison website has put together a helpful banking guide which could save you time and more importantly, money.

1. Online banking is actually a good thing – If you can live without the face to face service, you can carry out most of your everyday transactions online. Checking your balance, making transfers and paying bills is simple and you can do it all from the comfort of your lounge room at any time of the day or night.

Most banks have user-friendly websites, online chat systems and some great budgeting apps for your mobile phone. But if you do want to speak to someone, they all have call centres.

2. Contactless payments are a safe way to pay – You may have been asked to ‘tap & go’ or ‘PayWave’ at the checkout when making a purchase for less than $100. If you have a contactless-enabled card (look for a small logo on your Debit/Credit card) you can make a purchase without entering a PIN – it’s much quicker than a normal card transaction. It’s safe too, as the purchase is only made if the card is held within a few centimetres of the machine.

3. Bank fees should be a thing of the past – If you’re paying a monthly account keeping fee for your everyday bank account, it might be time to switch banks. There are 43 bank accounts on which don’t charge any fees and even more which don’t charge a fee if you’re making regular deposits. If you’re a longstanding, loyal customer, call your bank and ask them whether they waive fees for seniors.

4. Paying bills is easier than ever – These days, many banks allow you to pay your bills via your mobile phone. Using facilities like BPAY, setting up a biller as a regular payee or arranging a Direct Debit, means you’ll never have to deal with paper bills or late payment fees again.

5. Watch out for Credit card fraud – If you’re used to checking your credit card balance at statement time and not before, you might be missing fraudulent transactions. Although it’s rare, fraudsters have become more sophisticated with the advancements in technology and have global reach. Logging-in to your online banking regularly means you can track your spending so you’ll spot anything abnormal – like a purchase in Germany when you’re in Geelong – but it’s also a great way to keep your budget in check.


How do you do your banking? What is your preference – teller or online? Has banking gotten easier with time? Tell us below.

Kirsty Lamont

Kirsty Lamont is money expert at which helps Australians compare banking and insurance products like savings accounts, credit cards and travel insurance, and make sure they’re getting the best deals. Kirsty believes it’s never too early nor too late to improve your finances, and is particularly critical when you’re heading into retirement.

  1. I do most things online. Direct debit of known expenses such as power and water also make life easier. I pay bills electronically. Important to manage cash flows and maximise savings in higher interest products. Budgeting is an essential part of life for me.

  2. I do all my banking and bill paying on line. I use a debit card for all transactions at shops, doctors, etc. I never have more than around $20 cash on me.

  3. My husband in computer illiterate and in his mid seventies refuses to even try. I worry about what will happen if I fall off the perch. He can access our everyday account by eftpos but not the larger account.

  4. I used to go to the credit union queue up and take out the money. Then I would go to the bank/post office and queue up to pay the bill. Now when the bill arrives I get online (if I’m not already – some bills come online) and pay it. No queuing up twice to pay a bill.

  5. I have been doing all of my banking on-line for years, it not only saves me time it also saves your sanity because you can do your banking when it suits you. I love it!

  6. All banking and bill paying online at home. PayPal is great too. When I want cash in the pocket I get it when grocery shopping. Though do not use the mobile phone or tablet for any financial transactions.

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