Life Made Easy

For Mdm Hasnah Masnod, learning to use e-payment apps means that paying for daily necessities is now more convenient than ever, while WhatsApp has helped her stay connected with more family and friends.

Mobile devices, such as the smartphone, and mobile apps are not new to Mdm Hasnah. The 59-year-old housewife has been attending digital workshops for seniors where she learns how to use different mobile apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Grab.

An active volunteer at the mosque, Mdm Hasnah started taking classes two years ago using her SkillsFuture credits after finding out about them at the community centre. These skills have helped make daily activities far easier to handle and more efficient. She finds WhatsApp particularly useful in keeping her connected with her family and friends. “The app means I can send information to everyone without having to call up one person at a time,” she says.

The most recent class she attended was the e-Payment Learning Journey organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), which introduces seniors to the concept of going cashless. The hands-on session aims to share the convenience of e-payments.

Aware that Singapore is moving towards being a cashless society, Mdm Hasnah didn’t think twice about signing up for the sessions. She may not have a strong grasp of English but that did not stop her from attending classes at Keat Hong Community Club, as there were Malay-speaking volunteers who assisted when she couldn’t understand certain terms. “It went fine because I just follow what the instructor shows us,” she says. The bigger problem, she admits with a laugh, is that her brain isn’t as sharp anymore. “I have to listen two or three times before I can finally understand what the instructor is saying.”

As someone who enjoys interacting with people, Mdm Hasnah did not attend the class alone. She rallied 10 of her friends — all in their 60s to 80s — to join her. “It is fun to learn as a group because we can ask each other when we don’t understand anything. And once we’ve all learned, we can use the app together and get more familiar with it,” she says.

In fact, she has also convinced another 20 friends to attend the next session in November, as she firmly believes that learning to use e-payment apps is an important skill for the future. For example, there are many conveniences to using e-payment apps like DBS PayLah!, such as not having to carry a large sum of cash around or worrying that one may accidentally lose the money.

Mdm Hasnah herself has already been using the DBSPayLah! app to buy drinks and meals at food courts. However, she admits that she’s not completely confident using the app on her own and relies on her husband as a second pair of eyes. “I just need another person to assure me that I’m doing it correctly. One day when I’m more confident, I can use it by myself.”

Picking up these new digital skills not only allows Mdm Hasnah to stay connected with the community, it also keeps her bonded with family. “Sometimes when I forget how to use certain apps, I will ask my children for help. They will teach me and also share new apps with me.” Mdm Hasnah says with a laugh.

The Silver Infocomm Junctions (SIJs) are senior-friendly infocomm learning hubs that offer affordable training and customised curriculum for the seniors. There are currently 34 SIJs conveniently located island-wide, to provide seniors with step-by-step guidance on a wide range of topics including basic computer and internet usage, e-communications, social networking, online storage and data sharing, website creation and digital video making, among others. This programme aims to promote IT awareness and literacy among seniors so as to empower them to be digitally ready to lead a more engaged and connected lifestyle. More information on infocomm-related curriculum for seniors is available here.

If you like this story, check out Getting Smarter with her Smart Phone, where Mdm Ow Yong Hui shares how she conquered her fear of technology.

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