Exploring new possibilities for digital money with older adults

Timeframe: 2017-2021

This PhD research, led by Belén Barros Pena in partnership with Santander UK, explores the design of future money for our ageing population. Our money is migrating to the digital world very fast, a move that is being encouraged by both public institutions and private companies, while leaving behind a significant part of the population. As part of the money digitation process, cash and other physical payment artifacts are often represented as old-fashioned, dangerous, inconvenient and somehow suspicious. However, physical forms of money have qualities worth preserving. Research suggests physical money can help us spend less, do so more thoughtfully, keep better track of our finances, and limit our exposure to fraud and financial abuse. In collaboration with older adults, who have accumulated a life’s worth of experience using physical money, our research aims to identify and incorporate the strengths of physical forms of money into the digital kind, improving financial inclusion in the process.