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'I'm old, not stupid': Spain's elderly criticise online banking

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By Euronews  with EBU
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People use an ATM cash point machines at a branch of the Bankia bank in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
People use an ATM cash point machines at a branch of the Bankia bank in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.   -   Copyright  Manu Fernandez / AP

Many elderly people in Spain are feeling more lost than ever when they have to go to the bank, as processes go online and several branches close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the campaign "I'm old, not stupid", launched by a 78-year-old man living in Valencia, some are calling for more face-to-face services.

"We are a group with a very little voice, with very little possibility of making demands, and we have enormous difficulties at the present time because banking has become excessively computerised," said Carlos San Juan, who created the initiative.

"I went home several days without being able to get any money. I had no access to the office because I had to make an appointment beforehand and I was referred to an app," he added.

In its first four days of collecting signatures, Carlos managed to get more than 200,000 people to show their support and says he was surprised that so many people signed the petition.

For some, tasks such as making a deposit, withdrawing money and paying taxes have become more difficult online.

In response to the petition, some banks have said they will review their strategy to make sure older individuals do not feel left behind.