The Commonwealth Bank supports seniors Online Learning Centre

13 May 2002

A computer centre dedicated to assisting the elderly to understand e-commerce and to provide hands-on Internet experience was opened in Sydney today with the support of the Council of the Ageing (COTA) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The COTA (NSW) Commonwealth Bank Seniors Online Learning Centre at 280 Pitt Street will provide training, workshops and online access including electronic transactions.

Support for the centre is part of the Bank's program of providing older people with resources and skills needed to access services and information to enhance their quality of life. This includes improving and extending training and retraining opportunities available to older workers.

The Centre was opened by Senator Marise Payne. Ms Jill Lester, Head of Commonwealth Bank Group Corporate Relations, said the recent rapid take-up of online banking services included older Australians.

"Fifteen percent of Australians who regularly use online banking services are over the age of 50 years," Ms Lester said. "While this figure might surprise some people, it shows that older people readily grasp and embrace new technologies like the Internet."

She said the centre would promote access to online training programs and would challenge companies and organisations to develop online modules specifically for older people. "The Commonwealth Bank, for one, is determined not to let this opportunity slip by," she said.

The centre will provide access to focus groups so that older peoples' needs and experiences may be more thoroughly considered in the development, design and promotion of new technology and IT-based products and services, including those related to banking and financial services.

The Bank has worked closely with COTA developing its banking made easy for older persons program. Since 1996 the Bank has conducted more than 2000 workshops nationally under this program.