Bridging the digital divide with Standard Life
In this guest blog, Standard Life outline their 3 step digital inclusion strategy and how they're supporting us by promoting Learn My Way to their customers.
Being online is essential to thriving in today’s society, but 10.2m people still lack the most basic digital skills needed to access the online world. We know that not having access to the digital world can exacerbate inequalities.
Being online also increases access to core services such as government services, the NHS website, financial services and utility providers.
The digital divide reveals itself in various ways; this includes higher earnings due to higher digital capability, or better financial wellbeing since people who are digitally engaged check their balance more often and save more money and more frequently. Using online banking services has enabled people to save up to £659 more per year than those with the lowest level of digital skills. We believe a lack of digital skills can impact a person’s ability to understand what pension they will have at retirement, how to access pension support and how to plan for their retirement.
How Standard Life is bridging the digital divide and promoting digital inclusion
Standard Life, is part of Phoenix Group,, who are completing an audit of its websites and apps across the group. They want to ensure all customers feel supported through their preferred communication channel. For those who are offline or find the online world a bit daunting, we offer digital support to ensure they can benefit from our online services. Getting online can open up a whole new world of opportunity, not only in relation to financial wellness but it might mean customers can also keep in touch with friends and family.
Standard Life wants to support and inspire others to make a difference in the way they approach digital inclusion. One example of this is our new partnership with Good Things Foundation and our digital inclusion strategy.
Our 3 step digital inclusion strategy
Standard Life’s digital inclusion strategy aims to reduce the barriers to being online, delivering an inclusive service that empowers customers to get online wherever they are on their digital journey. There are three key focus areas for 2023, providing digital skills hubs, upskilling colleagues and completing an accessibility audit.
Digital skills hubs
Standard Life is creating digital skills hubs for customers and their loved ones to access and learn online in their own time and at their own pace. The bitesize learning resources can be used by friends and family for their own needs or as a means of supporting someone else. Good Things Foundation has enabled us to deliver this support by sharing access to their online learning platform called Learn My Way.
Upskilling colleagues to become Digital Champions
Standard Life trains colleagues on how they can each build digital inclusion into their roles and support customers in a digitally inclusive way. They are also building a digital champion network to provide additional learning and support opportunities and peer learning to celebrate the difference champions can make. Crucially, these digital champions are often not digital experts as this brings to life real customer issues.
“I volunteered to become a digital champion because I want to help people develop their digital skills, and particularly our vulnerable customers who might not be as advanced in using technology.”
– Colleague Digital Champion
Completing an accessibility audit
Phoenix Group is completing an accessibility audit of its websites and apps to ensure customers have a positive online inclusive experience.
“We carry out our digital accessibility audit with the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC) who provide real life human testing. We value the lived experience and ethical approach by DAC. We believe when things are accessible, everyone benefits.”
– Diane Webb, Digital Inclusion Manager
Engaging with customers digitally allows Standard Life to provide the best possible service and achieve the aim of “helping people secure a life of possibilities”. Working with Good Things Foundation is a vital part of this proposition as we share the mission of wanting to fix the digital divide – for good.