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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2024

Ru Ying Cai, Abigail Love, Kaaren Haas, Emma Gallagher and Vicki Gibbs

Navigating the banking world may be overwhelming and intimidating for autistic people due to the generally poor accessibility of banks. Banks around the world are starting to…

Abstract

Purpose

Navigating the banking world may be overwhelming and intimidating for autistic people due to the generally poor accessibility of banks. Banks around the world are starting to improve the accessibility of their services and products to meet the needs of autistic customers better. However, no empirical research has explored autistic adults’ banking experiences and needs. This study aims to determine what banks can do to make banking more inclusive and accessible for autistic people through understanding the banking experiences of autistic adults living in Australia and identifying the factors that shape these experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 57 autistic adults aged 18–67 years (Mage = 33.00, SDage = 11.03) and 29 caregivers of autistic adults aged 32–70 years (Mage = 52.24, SDage = 7.88) completed an online survey about the banking experiences of the autistic adults. In addition, 14 of the 57 autistic adults were interviewed.

Findings

Almost all autistic participants had a bank account, and online banking was the preferred way of banking for most autistic adults. The factor most often raised by participants that influenced the banking experiences of autistic adults was supportive and helpful bank staff. Other identified factors included autistic adults’ lack of financial and banking knowledge and banks’ poor understanding of autism. The majority of autistic adults felt that banks could become more autism-friendly and provided suggestions.

Practical implications

Given that most autistic adults are likely to access financial products and services, banks must become more autism-friendly to cater to the diverse needs of autistic customers. Recommendations for how financial institutions can become more inclusive were provided.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first detailed examination of the banking experiences of autistic adults. Practical implications of the research were also provided.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2022

Ru Ying Cai, Emma Gallagher, Kaaren Haas, Abigail Love and Vicki Gibbs

Many autistic adults experience unemployment, which may impact their financial circumstances. However, no research has examined their personal financial circumstances. Therefore…

Abstract

Purpose

Many autistic adults experience unemployment, which may impact their financial circumstances. However, no research has examined their personal financial circumstances. Therefore, this study aims to examine the self-reported income, savings and debt of autistic adults living in Australia, as well as the demographic associates and predictors of income and savings.

Design/methodology/approach

Sixty-four autistic adults aged 18–67 years (Mage = 32.78, SDage = 11.36) completed an online survey containing questions relating to their financial circumstances and the autism spectrum quotient-short.

Findings

Overall, the authors found that many autistic adults are financially disadvantaged. The mode of income levels was below AU$25,000, which is substantially lower than the mean annual Australian full-time income of AU$89,123. Higher savings was associated with not having any debt or having a greater ability to repay debt. Autism traits were positively associated with income levels. As predicted, being employed was associated with and predicted higher income. People who were employed were four times more likely to have a higher income than unemployed individuals. The authors did not find a relationship between having a co-occurring mental condition with income or savings. The authors also did not find a significant association between employment status and savings.

Practical implications

These research findings have implications on how we can improve the financial circumstances of autistic adults and provide additional evidence for the importance of increasing employment opportunities for autistic individuals.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine the personal financial circumstances of autistic adults.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

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