The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many consumers onto digital channels, encouraging firms to move their services online. But people insecure about using internet-based platforms to bank and shop risk being left behind. A code of conduct recently put in place by the Hong Kong Association of Banks and the DTC Association ensures that for at least the next six months, banks and deposit-taking companies will have to provide those who are less tech-capable, including the elderly, with facilities including paper-based forms and information. But that can only be an interim measure if the city’s economy is going to keep in step with the rest of China and international trends; more also needs to be done to educate and provide access and guidance. Businesses in the financial services sector have historically been viewed as conservative, but the flexibility, ease and cost-saving provided by digital platforms is fast changing their outlook. Hong Kong, the world’s most overbanked society, has in recent years introduced measures to speed up the development of fintech, including the Faster Payment System and establishment of eight virtual lenders, prompting traditional banks to ramp up their online services. Younger customer have embraced the convenience. Older generations, more comfortable with over-the-counter transactions, less trustful of technology and wedded to physical cash, have usually not been so enthusiastic. China woos new digital yuan users in major push The associations, after 12 months of consultation with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, will offer those physically unable or unwilling to access online financial services the option of a paper format. Inclusion will be coupled with financial literacy education. Mainland China offers a lesson; with a fast-greying population and physical cash being phased out amid a digital transformation of the economy, bricks-and-mortar stores are providing dedicated zones to help customers with digital services and robot assistance. Getting to grips with technology requires understanding, experience and confidence. Trained staff with knowledge and patience can help those who are reticent about moving to digital platforms. The shift will take time, effort and in-person resources.