The Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) and ĠEMMA, in collaboration with the National Association of Pensioners (NAoP), launched on Monday 17 October, a pilot project aimed at fostering financial literacy in the digital age amongst pensioners in Malta. This project consists of four weekly two-hour sessions by industry professionals from the MBA’s members who will cover three topics from a financial literacy perspective, while the final one being an information session by GEMMA’s representatives, on social benefits.
All sessions were held at the Paola Local Council between 9 am and 11 am and were conducted in the format of an informal social gathering, complemented by refreshments. The feedback resulting from this pilot project will subsequently be assessed by both the MBA and ĠEMMA with the aim of implementing a more comprehensive financial literacy programme for senior citizens, in the coming months in other local councils.
The first interactive session was held on the 17 October and consisted of an introduction to the principles underlying online and mobile banking. The second session, held on the 24 October, introduced attendees to key principles which they should adopt to protect themselves from financial abuse, normally undertaken through scams or other types of fraud, and to ensure that any online payments made will be done safely.
On 31 October, the pilot project hosted a practical session for attendees which guided them on the use of ATMs to illustrate the advantages of using such facilities, which beside withdrawal of cash also include cheque deposits. This should encourage a greater take-up from senior citizens, thus helping to reduce queues at branches. Attendees at this session were also given an informative leaflet on the use of ATMs.
The final session will be held on 7 November 2022 and will shed light on other useful aspects of personal financial management through information on the various benefits and services that pensioners in Malta are eligible for.
The MBA’s Secretary General, Karol Gabarretta said: “This pilot project will provide useful information to enhance private-public collaboration through the implementation of a more comprehensive programme which aims to foster adult financial literacy. The collaboration between ĠEMMA and the MBA has been very fruitful and the MBA’s members have dedicated due time and resources to reach out to that cohort of society, which for various reasons and through no fault of their own, is not always receptive to the continuing evolution of banking in the digital sphere.”
“Research clearly shows that that the share or older persons in the total population will continue to increase significantly. Unlike younger generations, seniors have not grown up with technology, therefore they are increasingly getting marginalised due to digital illiteracy. Seniors rarely have people instructing and guiding them on how to use today’s technologies, and it is our specific objective at ĠEMMA is to give these people the opportunity to get the needed skills via adult training providers and partnerships with key stakeholders that can make a difference,” said Petra Ellul-Mercer, on behalf of ĠEMMA.
Sessions were delivered by representatives from MBA members, APS Bank, BOV, HSBC, and ĠEMMA, while representatives from the MBA Secretariat, and the NAoP were present.
Pic 1 – Representatives of MBA, ĠEMMA and the Paola Local Council welcoming the attendees
Pic 2 – MBA’s Secretary General, Karol Gabarretta addressing the attendees