Chase and Venmo: Memory Aiding Money Management BY: Mimi Mijiddorj

Chase, and Vemno are two smartphone apps that can help benefit older adults with the aging process.  Both apps help contain and keep track of money.  On the Chase app you are able to check your bank account balance and see your statements.  So, individuals can see when the card was used and what kind of transactions have been made.  The app also lets you deposit checks right away.  It will have you take a picture of both the front and back of the check and then it will take about a day to process the check and add the money into the account.  On the app you are also allowed to transfer money when needed to another person.  Some additional features of the app include things such as helping you find the closest ATM near you, checking your mortgage, loans and offers wire transfers.  Venmo differs from the chase app because it deals with primarily requesting/receiving money from friends and paying your friends back.  It is an app where individuals can link their debit or credit card to their Venmo account and determine how much money they want on their account.  From there, individuals can send or receive money at any time with other Venmo accounts.  The money you received into the Venmo account can be transferred back to your bank at any time (will take 24 hours).  The Chase app and the Venmo app are apps that can help seniors access, exchange and keep track of money faster.  These two apps can be very helpful for seniors when dealing with memory decline and neuroplasticity.

Seniors might be used to always checking bank statements and account balances either online or even going to the bank.  They might not know about the apps or how to use the apps just yet because Venmo is a app that recently just came out and the Chase app is only for chase costumers.  These two apps are very helpful when taking care of matters involving money.

It is known that when you age, decline in memory can be related to atrophy and abnormal neurons in the temporal lobe.  It can also be due to reduction of volume of the hippocampus.  So, one aspect of this can lead to loss or decline of recall.  Recalling something will involve an individual trying to bring back a memory, thing, or fact into their own mind.  In other words, recalling information is when you retrieve information from your memory.  Chase app allows you to check your card balance and bank statements right away.  When you are, older and forget where you spent your money, the app is convenient because you can look up where and when you spent your money.  Also, when individuals can’t recall how much money they put into the bank, they are able to check it on their phone in a matter of a couple of minutes.  Venmo is also a useful app when as individuals age because it will help individuals repay their friends you need to pay back right when you need to, instead of having friends wait for the money.  For example, say that you go out to lunch with friends but one of you forgets their money and your friend pays for your meal. You might not see the friend for a couple of days or weeks and soon forget that you owe the friend money or forget exactly how much you owe them.  This scenario is common not only with older adults but with even teenagers.  The app Venmo will help solve this problem by letting you pay back your friends instantly through the app.  This will be helpful for seniors because they don’t have to go through the hassle of trying to remember the right amount they are supposed to repay their friend.  Both the apps will be helpful for seniors as their memory starts to decline.

There was a recent study that Toril et al. conducted in order to examine age differences in financial decision making.  The researchers had 14 young and older adults participate in a simulated yard sale.  Each participant was asked to sell a series of objects at the highest possible price, when they were offered 3 random offers (Toril et al., 2014).  The participants were also asked to complete a working memory task on top of their yard sale task.  The results showed that the older adults were more likely to use a single-deal strategy to compensate for their reduced working memory capacities (Toril et al., 2014).  This study illustrates that though older adults working memory is declining they can still get responsibilities done, but maybe a different way than younger adults would.  The apps will help money with money management to compensate for their decline in working memory.

Learning how to use the apps will accrue neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity is the changes that occur within brain structure and function as a result of experience/ adaptation to environmental challenges.  It will always include some restructuring of the brain.  When looking at the cellular level of neuroplasticity, self- renewing cells will often keep dividing into both specialized and non-specialized cells, and multipotent cells can give rise to different neuron cell types.  Multipotent cells will be used by older adults learning how to use the apps.  There was a meta-analysis guided by Yiwei et al. that examined the hypothesis: training healthy older adults with video games enhances their cognitive functioning.  There were 20 experimental studies that were published, that involved 474 trained and 439 healthy older control participants (Yiwei et al., 2003). The studies had many video game training interventions with pre-and post-measures.  The results showed that video gaming has positive effects on several cognitive functions such as reaction time, attention, memory, and global cognition (Yiwei et al., 2003).  The findings conclude that cognitive and neural plasticity is maintained to a certain extent in old age, this means that older adults will be able to adapt and get the hang of using mobile apps such as Chase and Venmo.

Chase and Venmo are two great money management apps that many teenagers and young adults benefit from.  Older adults should also take advantage of these apps because these apps will help out as memory declines and make money management easier.

References

Toril, P., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Video Game Training Enhances Cognition of                   Older Adults: A Meta-Analytic Study. Psychology & Aging, 29(3), 706-716.             doi:10.1037/a0037507

Yiwei, C., & Yanlong, S. (2003). AGE DIFFERENCES IN FINANCIAL DECISION-                                         MAKING: USING SIMPLE HEURISTICS. Educational Gerontology, 29(7), 627.

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