We assume that technology helps bring us closer. It enhances our access to critical goods and services like mobile online betting. But, it’s easy to overlook that others who can’t or don’t want to connect with cutting-edge technology are falling behind.
According to recent studies, cashless payment methods for auto parking in the UK are unfairly penalizing senior drivers. This has prompted calls for the government to step in.
One of the most important determinants of digital exclusion is age. Only 47% of individuals aged 75 and up use the internet on a regular basis. Only 300,000 of the 4 million people in the UK who have never accessed the internet are under the age of 55.
However, elderly individuals are not the only ones that feel excluded from modern technology. According to studies, vulnerable people are also disengaging from e-services.
The Shift to Digital
From rail tickets to vaccination passports, customers are expected to accept technology to take part in daily life. This is a worldwide phenomenon. Sweden anticipates that the economy will be completely cashless by March 2023.
VR window displays, QR codes, and self-service checkouts are increasingly being used in stores. Much of these systems need a smart device. There is growing support for QR codes to be incorporated into electronic price tags. They may provide customers with extra information, such as the nutritional composition of food. Replacing paper labels is a time-consuming operation.
All facets of consumer life are influenced by technology. Going on vacation, going to the movies or the theater, and joining sports and social groups all help people feel like they are a part of society. Yet, several performers are already selling tickets to their gigs through the internet. To keep their members up-to-date, social groups employ WhatsApp and Facebook.
When it comes to planning a vacation, there are fewer and fewer in-person travel agents. This reduces the social support available to make the optimal decision, which is especially crucial for those with special requirements, such as people with health concerns.
When traveling, aircrew expects to be able to access airplane boarding cards and COVID passports on their cellphones.
Healthcare, which may already be tough for the elderly and others to access, is moving online as well. Patients are now expected to utilize the GP website or email to make an appointment with a doctor. Prescriptions can be ordered online.
The solution is not merely to provide gadgets to individuals who do not have access to smart technology. Services should offer non-digital alternatives that promote equality. Cash systems, for instance, should not be eliminated. There is a desire for digital services. But, service providers must be conscious of the people who may be isolated as a result of this transformation.
Retailers, local governments, health care providers, and the tourist, entertainment, and leisure industries should endeavor to learn more about the variety of their customers. They must provide services that meet the requirements of all individuals, including those who do not have access to technology.
We live in a complex world, and diverse customers require a variety of options. After all, participation in and access to society is a basic right.