The Guardian Angel Debit Card

A group of researchers based at Newcastle University, that I am associated with, have been working with Eighty Somethings (people over the age of 80) to design better payment technologies for older people. The work included interviews, focus groups and co-design workshop with Eighty Somethings and was conducted over a 3 year period (see also Digital Cheques in these pages).

Our Eighty Somethings expressed a very real concern that situations may occur where they would be unable to withdraw cash or pay bills because of a reduction in their mobility. Occasions may arise where friends, family or carers would need to get money or shop on other peoples behalves.


The picture shows the Guardian Angel Debit Card, a demonstration of how someone could act as temporary delegate, with access to another person’s bank account. The service would work through an app designed for a mobile device such as an iPad. The delegation would work for a specified period of time and a specified geographical location. Sums that the delegate has control over could also be limited as specified by the account holder. Once the transaction is completed, the account holder is sent a message over the phone for confirmation.

See this demo at

Find out about the methods used in this research at

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