Bank of Queensland (BOQ) has become the first bank in Australia to install audible ATMs on its entire branch-based network, improving accessibility to banking services for consumers with blindness or impaired vision.
The ATMs employ advanced text-to-speech technology, enabling customers to hear the instructions displayed on-screen and proceed through the transaction using the keypad.
In developing the solution, BOQ worked closely with Vision Australia, the country’s largest provider of blindness and low vision services. The organisation’s members provided feedback and recommendations on the new ATMs, particularly in regard to ease-of-use and overall functionality.
BOQ Managing Director David Liddy said the Bank was very proud of the improvement in accessibility.
“Our new audible ATMs are available at every one of Bank of Queensland’s 215 branch ATMs and greatly improve access to banking services.
“The text-to-speech option means that it’s easier than ever for all vision-impaired ATM users – not just BOQ customers but those of other banks too – to access their funds.
“At BOQ we pride ourselves on the personal face-to-face service we offer in our growing branch network, and these new ATMs allow us to maintain our high service levels even when branches are closed. It’s all about providing more choice to our customers.”
Jay Richards of Vision Australia said, “Vision impairment ranges from mild to profound, so the Bank was careful to seek feedback from a range of vision impaired people before rolling out the ATMs nationally.
“Often there is a gap between an accessible design and the usability aspect, so it’s great to see that the Bank took the time to get feedback on the usability of the ATMs from the people who will actually be using them.
“Every ATM has braille indicators as well as an audio channel connected by an ear piece. This allows for complete privacy, easy access and supports a daily activity most of us would take for granted. We’re delighted to have been involved in the project.”
The text-to-speech solution was developed by the world’s largest self-service company, NCR.
Ross Checkley, Vice President of NCR’s Financial Solutions Division in Australia, said, “We are proud to have worked with BOQ in developing this audible ATM solution. From banking to shopping, NCR’s technology allows consumers to serve themselves, and BOQ’s new ATMs extend the reach of self-service to even more consumers.”
The text-to-speech functionality is available only at ATMs situated within BOQ’s branch network.