How do you feel about facing your fears? Does it scare you into inaction or do you face the fear and take on the challenge? Fear is something that has driven me all throughout my life. I love to take the plunge and try things that are different or throw myself into unfamiliar situations. It feels like the potential reward is worth the risk.
I am constantly faced with situations that test me
Back in 2015 I was in a place of fear in my full-time job, and the alternative was to move to an even bigger unknown, setting up my own business. It was a huge risk to leave full time employment and might not have worked out. It was worth facing the fear and accepting that the current job wasn’t right. I set up my business and did everything possible to make it a success and to replace my income from my employed job. The risk was worth it, I now have flexibility, I am my own boss, I have choice and I earn enough money to maintain our lifestyle.
Another fear that I refused to acknowledge for many years was my pension situation. One of my biggest financial regrets is not putting money into my pension as soon as I started working. It took until the age of 31 to start and I continued until the age of 38. Using a pension transfer service, I moved my different employer funds into the one place and now have access to my pension money all in the one place. I can check my balance on the app and add to it whenever I chose. I faced the fear of the situation, then realised it was better than I had hoped and am now using technology to be in better control.
A Go-Ape challenge with NatWest
As I have got older adrenaline filled activities really scare me. They fill me with fear and dread, but I always say yes. I know the feeling of satisfaction at the end of the adventure will be worth it. So, when NatWest contacted me and asked me to take part in a Go-Ape tree top climbing adventure I jumped at the chance, no pun intended!
Climbing up high across rope bridges and narrow wooden moving walkways filled me with dread, but I knew I would feel great if I did it and completed the course. Go-Ape was made so much easier with a few important factors, firstly we were shown exactly what to do by the knowledgeable instructors. Secondly, I had a brave leader, Jo in front of me encouraging me on and explaining how to do things, which I was passing onto Aftab who was behind me. And thirdly we worked brilliantly as a team with Sareta at the rear of team, we were constantly encouraging each other, saying well done and sharing tips on how to make the challenge easier. All of this can be applied to NatWest Banking. Banking is changing. NatWest is encouraging people to overcome psychological barriers with their banking and to use new technology such as the brilliant NatWest mobile banking app.
Facing Technology with banking
I loved being part of a project in my last job where we held digital tea parties for the local community. I would spend a few hours in store with the local community helping them with their technical questions. They would bring in their phones and tablets and ask all sorts of questions. How does social media work, how to access banking, how to send photos. The act of having the conversation and explaining how something worked face-to-face really worked. NatWest have introduced a similar role with their TechXperts who are technology experts based in all of NatWest’s branches. They are there to help customers get set up, use and understand both online and mobile banking (online banking & app eligibility criteria applies)
I can completely understand the fear of using technology with banking. Thinking back to the first time I used a banking app I was very worried about the levels of passwords and the ability other people might have to access my data.
I was surprised to the see the results of a new NatWest study that revealed 51% of 18-44-year olds state that they tend to shy away from using apps that require them to share personal information because of concerns about how their personal information might be used. It is a worry for many of us that NatWest has addressed with their highly secure app.
I access my bank app via my tablet and my mobile phone now, rarely even on the computer as it’s so much easier to access data via the app. The more I use apps, the more I trust them. I got used to using the app rather than going into branch or using the telephone and it soon became my go to place. The only time I do need face-to-face contact now is with the rare occasion of paying cheques or cash into my accounts. And this is easily done via the post office.
The NatWest App is super smart and very intuitive
After our Go-Ape mission we were buzzing with the satisfaction of having completed the course. We retreated to the warmth to do a few NatWest app challenges. The app was new to me, but I found it very simple to navigate and complete some of the common tasks. I was most impressed to see some unique and brilliant features of the app as well.
Making transfers and payments was very simple with payment being made within a few clicks. My favourite feature was the emergency cash feature called Get Cash (limits apply) Unique to NatWest as well. If you find yourself needing emergency cash but you don’t have your cash card on you, you can access an emergency amount using a pin number generated from the app to get cash from a NatWest cash machine. This is available to you when out and about but without your cash card, and to maybe your children. If they find themselves stranded, you can send them the pin code and they can get money from the cash machine as well. Another handy feature is that the app will show you where your nearest cash machine is.
The TechXperts and Community Bankers will be more than happy to talk you through the key features of the app and show you how it works personalised to your requirements.
What advice would I give to those facing their fears?
Talk to those trusted people who know what they are talking about. Speak to Community Bankers or TechXperts at NatWest who can help with any concerns or questions you might have. Ask for a demo of the app and the specific functions you would use it for, maybe making payment to other people and transferring money between accounts.
Practise again and again with the technology to get used to it. If in doubt why not ask the help of tech savvy friend or relative. Your children or grandchildren can be a great help here.
How NatWest is helping people to understand technology
NatWest recognises there is a gap between current levels of comfort with technology in banking and the more traditional ways people bank. To help this, they have introduced the Community Banker role. NatWest has 89 Community Bankers that will come out to you for the face-to-face contact you need, available in selected areas. They will come to your community to places like the library or a community centre and answer all your banking questions and help you to get used to new technology that can make your banking requirements simpler.
NatWest is dedicated to providing the best service to their customers. Here are the many ways you can complete your banking
- Online banking
- Award-winning banking app, which comes with a ‘Message Us 24/7’ instant messaging service (Voted ‘Best Banking App’ in British Bank Awards 2018)
- Mobile branches (available in selected areas)
- Banking through the Post Office
- UK wide branch network
This is a collaborative post with NatWest.