Lloyds Banking Group joins forces with Mastercard for digital skills initiative

Lloyds Banking Group is teaming up with Mastercard and training organisations Good Things Foundation and Clean Slate to launch a digital and financial skills initiative.

The ‘Nobody in the Dark’ campaign aims to support digitally and financially excluded people who have particularly struggled during the pandemic.

The programme, with a renewed focus on those at risk of being left behind by the digital revolution will offer personalised, face-to-face support offered from 20 centres across the UK in locations such as Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Swansea.

The programme will target people living in poverty or on low incomes, who have limited digital skills and need support to use digital financial tools. This includes people facing greater risks of digital and financial barriers, including disabled people and people from communities experiencing racial inequalities.

Announcing the move, the group said that the pace of change and digitisation of everyday activities in society has increased dramatically since March 2020 but a clear digital divide remains.

According to the 2020 Lloyds Bank UK Essential Digital Skills data, people with an annual household income of £50,000 or more are almost 40 per cent more likely to be able to carry out all 7 foundation tasks than those earning less than £17,499. Meanwhile the 2021 Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index shows Wales, the East of England and the North East of England have the highest proportions of those offline.

The group warned that these people have not only been cut off from vital sources of information during the pandemic but are unable to access tools and services that could help them manage their finances, medical services as well as connecting to loved ones.

Stephen Noakes, retail chief digital officer at Lloyds Banking Group commented: “In terms of digital engagement, the UK has made five years’ worth of progress in just one year. People using digital tools and services have a real advantage. They are more likely to build their saving reserves, find new ways to save money on services and can more easily find and access new information.

"In addition, the digital channel can help them manage their wellbeing and keep connected to loved ones. It’s so important that programmes like these continue to work with those at risk of being left behind.”

Kelly Devine, divisional president of Mastercard UK & Ireland commented: “Promoting digital inclusion is crucial to ensure that nobody gets left behind in the new normal. Offering everyone access to the tools and skills they need to enter the digital revolution will ensure that people, communities and our economy can thrive as we emerge from the pandemic.”

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