Joint Response on the impact of digitalisation on seniors - The Straits Times, 7, 10, 13 and 30 December 2021
We refer to recent forum letters discussing the impact of digitalisation on seniors. While some like Mr Jeffrey Law spoke about the benefits of technology (‘Seniors need to embrace technology to lead independent lives’, 10 Dec), we also empathise with seniors like Ms Chan Mei Mei (‘Stressed and left out by strong push towards e-payments’, Dec 30).
We believe digitalisation can benefit everyone. It makes Government services more accessible, convenient, and safe. It has also served us well during the pandemic.
Hence, we promote digitalisation, and support Singaporeans in using digital services. We have invested in digital readiness programmes such as Seniors Go Digital, providing one-on-one training to more than 100,000 seniors in basic digital skills such as making e-payments. The National Library Board also runs free digital literacy programmes and Library Learning Journeys for seniors.
Even as we strive to bring everyone along, we recognise that there will be some who may face difficulties in using digital tools and services. Our approach as we implement more digital services is to listen to feedback, support users that need help, or enable them to access through other means.
For example, to improve useability, we have set usability standards for Government websites and mobile apps. While we plan to phase out cheques by 2025 because of declining cheque volume and the increased use of e-payments, we will assist users who need help with payments, or provide alternative ways to transact. Cash will continue to be widely accepted, and ATM and cash withdrawal points will remain available across the island.
The Government will continue to support everyone in being able to access digital services, and we encourage those who need help to reach out to us for assistance.
Director, Adoption and Engagement
Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office
Foo Wen Dee
Director, Communications and Marketing Division
Infocomm Media Development Authority
Director, Corporate Communications
Monetary Authority of Singapore