New technologies can help protect older adults from fraud, according to two reports recently published by the World Economic Forum.

Aging experts from around the world, convened by the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Aging and the Vitality Group, met for the past two years and determined ways that new technologies will enable older adults to more easily and safely engage in banking and insurance activities:

  • Transactions via wearable technologies, with identification occurring through biometrics, such as voice and facial recognition.
  • Geolocation information that can detect and prevent fraud by identifying consumers’ locations.
  • Bank cards with directional arrows, high-contrast color, and chip-and-signature security features for users who are unable to recall passcodes.

“Many of these technologies will help make financial transactions more secure for all consumers, but it is especially important that we protect older adults who may be experiencing cognitive decline,” said Derek Yach, chairman of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Aging, chief health officer of Vitality and an author of both reports, which formally were released Sept. 10 during a WEF meeting in Kobe, Japan, that coincided with the G7 Kobe Health Ministers’ Meeting. The issue of cognitive decline will become more important as the world’s population ages, Yach added.

The experts in aging also determined that professionals who interact with older adults can play a key role in identifying those who may be experiencing cognitive decline, and they should receive specialized training. Specifically, they said:

  • Physicians should be trained to discuss cognitive decline with their patients, especially as it relates to their financial and personal affairs.
  • Financial services employees should be trained to help their clients plan for the possibility of future cognitive impairment. They also should be trained to recognize signs that a client is beginning to experience cognitive decline.

Additional research is needed to determine the most effective interventions for cognitive decline and to be able to better predict patterns of financial abuse in older adults, the reports’ authors said.

See the reports here:

Technological Innovations for Health and Wealth for an Ageing Global Population

Meeting the Needs of Cognitive Decline