Safe use of digital services for better daily life

Navigating the internet safely requires knowledge and experience. Not everyone has adequate skills to use all digital services, and scammers are stalking careless users everywhere.

Finance Finland (FFI) and its members have published recommendations for instructors who help other people in the use of digital financial services.

FFI also organised a webinar on the importance of digital literacy as part of financial literacy. Especially the older generations need help with the use of digital services.

The European Money Week is currently on. This year’s theme, ‘counting everyone in’, highlights the importance of including all social groups in financial education efforts, with a special focus on the elderly, women and youth. Longer life expectancy together with evolving pension and social welfare systems means Europeans today must consider different things when planning their retirement than the previous generations.

In FFI’s round table webinar on 24 March, Finland’s Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering, Sirpa Paatero, pointed out that digital skills training is not just for special groups. The importance of digital skills has been noted by many entrepreneurs and companies as well.

”People in small businesses are experts in their own field, which may be something completely different than online services. But they still need to manage invoicing, accounting, taxes and so on. Businesses could use guidance in all this too, not just individual citizens”, Paatero noted.

Learning digital skills is a lifelong process. According to Paatero, the automatic technological superiority of young people is partially a myth. We should therefore evaluate how digital skills are taught in schools.

”Young people surely know how to go online and play games, but can they use all of the important services they need? And this goes for all ages; after a period of unemployment, for example, a person might be out of touch with digitalisation. There are many different groups of people who may require support with digital services”.

Banks and insurance companies help their customers through many channels. The most popular ones are telephone and chat support, and websites. The sector also works in cooperation with several other providers of digital support services.

Representatives of financial sector companies reported that customers often request help with basic functions such as using mobile apps, logging in, or joining remote meetings. Anniina Ryhänen, account manager at POP Bank group, also mentioned that many customers are not particularly limited in technological sense, but simply need a little bit of support and encouragement. In many problem situations, simply having another human available to talk to can help. Personal service also gives the digital world a friendly face and voice.

”Businesses could use guidance with digital services too, not just individual citizens.”

SIRPA PAATERO, Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering

The webinar on 24 March was also a publishing event: FFI and its members have cooperatively produced recommendations for digital training. They are meant for everyone who helps or trains other people in the use of digital financial services.

The recommendations are divided into the following themes:

  • Personalised guidance based on the customer’s needs
  • Customer identification and verification
  • Online banking identifiers and their use in various online services
  • Responsibilities of the customer and the instructor
  • Different authentication methods of different banks
  • Consent, privacy and confidentiality between the customer and the instructor
  • Being aware of and avoiding scams and frauds
  • Additional support beyond what the instructor can provide

The recommendations are available in Finnish here.

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Teija Kaarlela

Head of E-Services, Payments and Banking Regulation