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Grovo Partner Story: Helping Seniors get Comfortable Banking Online

Written by Julie Gora

This article was written by Kim Allman, Director of Community Development at Capital One, and originally appeared on the Capital One ONE Design Blog.

What do you do when some of your customer base is scared of your products? You create a tool to help them get over that fear. Through the use of agile and design, a team at Capital One has created a tool to help senior citizens become knowledgeable and comfortable with online banking.

1--IQ7Dp1Taf8CwM6Ef8nlYAIn 1986, I told my elementary school teacher that I had a computer at home that my Dad built. She thought I was lying or confused (I was neither). My Dad worked as an engineer at IBM for 40 years and he brought his love for computers home. I’ve embraced my Dad’s love for technology, so it’s exciting to work for an innovative tech company like Capital One. As we reimagine banking, technology helps us create better products and tools to better serve our customers. But what about people who avoid technology because they don’t understand it or it makes them uncomfortable?

You probably aren’t surprised to learn that many senior citizens fall into this category. While a majority of senior citizens use the Internet, the percentage of people 60 and over who use mobile banking is a paltry 18%.

My mom is included in the other 82%. My Dad may be a tech guru, but my retired Mom is not. She skypes and texts, but she listens to audio books on CD and isn’t comfortable buying plane tickets online. I asked her how she feels about how banking is changing. She said, “My iPhone is fun and intuitive, but banking online is scary. I don’t understand how the technology works and it feels unsafe.” So, as banking becomes more digital, how is Capital One ensuring that everyone can take advantage of the technology?

We took this concern seriously and an agile team was created to find tools to enable senior access to digital banking. We researched senior digital usage, interviewed and surveyed seniors, learned about senior learning styles, and worked to understand barriers that prevent seniors from utilizing technology.

We knew that we needed something that was educational, easily accessible, and could be used across multiple channels–but we couldn’t find an existing tool that met all of our criteria. So using human-centered design techniques, we created a tool to teach seniors how to use online banking that takes into account their particular concerns and needs, meets them where they are, and brings them with us on this journey.

We call this tool Ready, Set, Bank. It is a series of 44 videos created in partnership with Grovo, a micro-learning company and Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), a non-profit that empowers older adults to live successful, independent and more connected lives. These one- to two-minute videos, available to everyone at readysetbank.org, combine live action, animation, and screenshots and are tailored specifically to help older adults learn about online banking in a simple and straightforward manner.

1-W7FRFL0U0YPmpFhIKTOOmAThe videos share the benefits of online banking and walk through the steps of how to sign up, how to manage your account, and how to use the different features.

We carefully crafted scripts that didn’t gloss over technological terms. We knew that for seniors, being taught by their peers was important, so we went to casting calls to find senior actors to present the material. In addition, these videos are not Capital One branded videos; they are generic so they can be used by anyone who banks anywhere.

Our non-profit partner, OATS, offered a 10-class Ready, Set Bank workshop to seniors in New York City. Attendees told us,

  • “Ready, Set, Bank was EASY. The videos were to the point, they were very clear, and it went through all the steps you need to get started.”
  • “All of my friends are dealing with this–and I’m telling all my friends about these videos!”

90% of those seniors would recommend Ready, Set, Bank to a friend of family member, and 80% of those seniors felt safer banking online after taking the class.

We also tested Ready, Set, Bank in six branches across our footprint where bankers could introduce customers to the videos based on their needs. Capital One associates who shared the videos with customers told us,

  • “[Ready, Set, Bank] has created an immersive learning platform for our seniors and the digitally curious customer, helping them adapt and thrive in the digital space.”
  • “Seniors Citizens are delighted in seeing other seniors narrating/acting and talking about the digital experience in the videos”

Due to this success, Ready, Set, Bank will be available in all Capital One branches. Through our focus on our customers and design we can make sure that everyone will be able to join us on our digital journey.


Thanks to Kim and Capital One for allowing us to share their story on the Grovo blog! Learn more about the Ready, Set, Bank program here.