Helsinki encourages elderly residents to pay bills electronically

Helsinki encourages elderly residents to pay bills electronically

The initiative launched by the Finnish capital doesn't require an active internet connection

The City of Helsinki has launched an initiative to encourage elderly residents to pay bills electronically. Helsinki has teamed up with lobbying group Finance Finland (FFI) to launch the pilot project, which starts in November. The city has taken direct debiting into use so that customers without access to online banking service can also benefit from electronic payments.

The initiative is planned to run for half a year. The target group of the project are residents aged over 65 who receive invoices from Helsinki social care and health care services. The project has two main aims - to find digital solutions that facilitate seniors’ payment of bills and to boost the efficiency of the city’s financial management.

Residents of Helsinki will be encouraged and supported to use e-invoicing systems and direct debits to pay care bills, with a focus on those who already use online banking services.

Helsinki has been offering e-invoicing since 2007, but only a fraction of consumers have taken the leap away from paper. E-invoices comprised around 30% of the 1.2 million invoices sent by the Municipality. In 2018, only 14% of invoices sent to social and health care service customers were electronic.

Advantages of the e-invoicing

Some of the advantages of the e-invoicing are the reduced chance for typing errors and for payment delays. Furthermore, digital money also removes the need to carry cash, which improves the safety of seniors. Every citizen of Helsinki who receives bills for their care has received in addition a letter in which the authority encourages them to use e-invoices.

In February 2020, 800 senior citizens will take part in a half-day seminar in central Helsinki, featuring presentations from organisations including FFI and banks. Organisers hope to also attract relatives and helpers alongside those receiving care services.

After the end of the six-month project, recommendations will be compiled for boosting e-payments in Helsinki, as well as other municipalities across Finland.



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