Imagine not being able to withdraw your own money or then needing help to talk to a bank official, or then not being able to read your bank statement.
One of the most basic things in life is access to your money, so in short access to banks. With 70 million disabled people in India and the ageing population of our country, it is important for Banks to consider how they are supporting their customers who have special needs.
Most Banks in India do not even have barrier-free infrastructure which makes it difficult for people with disabilities to access the banks, but with the advent of technology, Banks should look at using technology to reach this segment of their customer which they otherwise might be ignoring.
Today, with the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 and India having ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is important for Banks to meet the needs of persons with disabilities and provide them with the required service as any other customer.
As a starting step, Banks need to evaluate the different technology being used by the bank such as the ATMs, Kiosks, Online Banking websites.
ATMs - A RBI Notifications requiring one-third of all ATMs to be disabled / visually impaired friendly.
Website & Online Banking – Ministry of Finance has notified all Banks to conform to Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 by W3C.
Kiosks - Kiosks also are software applications and must be accessible as per Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 by W3C.
For Banks, all of the above are legal compliance requirements that they should adhere to. They need to not only ensure that they have developed websites or procured ATMs that are accessible but should enforce this by getting the products tested by accessibility consultants and people with disabilities to ensure that they are meeting the needs.
It is about going beyond compliance and ensuring that they are providing the essential customer experience for their customers.
Banks should be pro-active and work towards accessibility and inclusion. So in short, YES banks need to ensure that they meet legal compliances.
Get in touch with us to know how we can help you meet your compliance needs.