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Beijing's Elderly Population Gets to Grips with Mobile Money: Report
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2017-9-7-
Title: Beijing's Elderly Population Gets to Grips with Mobile Money: Report
Source: Beijing Youth Daily
Release Date: September 7, 2017
Keyword: Beijing, Elderly Population, Mobile Money

Beijing's increasing elderly population is fast adopting new mobile payment options, and, according to a recent report, most of them learned the hi-tech skills by themselves.

Polling some 100 over-55s in Shichahai Community of the capital, the survey conducted by Beijing Youth Daily found over 70 percent of them spoke highly of cashless payments.

Regarding various age groups, findings showed that over half the respondents older than 65 utilized mobile payments every day to purchase things, send and receive digital gift money, pay utility expenses and use shared bikes.

For elderly people between 65-70, about one in three use the digital payment over three times a week, with 33 percent of over-70s utilizing it once a week mainly for digital hongbao (red envelopes).

When asked "How did you master the skills of mobile payments?", the respondents learning by themselves accounted for 68 percent. Meanwhile, 19 percent were taught by their children or others while 13 percent participated in related community training sessions.

Over 70 percent of the respondents believed that senior people should utilize mobile payments, regarding it as a skill for extra convenience.

Meanwhile, 15 percent held somewhat uncertain views on the technology, partly citing their weaker eyesight and hand tremors.

In addition, about seven percent refused to accept the payment option at all.

During the survey, authors found that some elderly people were optimistic to embrace electronic payments.

A grandpa surnamed Wang, 66, has utilized mobile payments for several years and supported senior people to master the skill.

"With age, we walk slowly. Shopping online could save time to do more valuable things," said Wang.

Likewise, Grandma Li, a retiree living in Xisi Hutong, believed that the older generation should not be excluded by the modern technology. She usually used mobile payments for bike-sharing services.

Zhao Peicheng, 65, has operated a snack store since 2003. In 2015, with his son's guidance, Zhao registered with Alipay, China's leading mobile and online payment service, and began to provide QR code for customers to pay via their cell phones.

"It is convenient and time-saving. With the payment option, more customers came to my store," Zhao said.

Experts' Opinion

Experts said with an increasing number of senior people in China, narrowing the gap between the elderly and digital technology can be an effective way to boost the market.

Pan Helin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, said with more relatives utilizing mobile payment, a growing number of senior people will gradually accept the method.

However, "its prevalence was closely related to network safety and personal privacy, which need further improvement," noted Pan.

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