Barclays Bank has announced today that it has made considerable progress in providing ‘talking ATMs’ designed for blind or partially sighted people.
Barclays has over 3,000 talking ATMs
The bank has met its commitment to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Make Money Talk campaign with over 75% of Barclays cash machines across England and Wales now audio-enabled. Barclays is the first major high street bank to provide this facility.
This means speech output is now available on over 3,000 Barclays ATMs through audio jacks so that blind and partially sighted people are able to plug in their earphones to listen to the options being read out to enable them to carry out their transactions.
Previously, if a blind or partially sighted person wanted to access their money at an ATM, they needed to ask a friend or relative for help or in some cases a passer-by.
Increased independence and privacy when using ATMs
The functionality will benefit people with a range of disabilities, including dyslexia and other age-related impairments, as well as anyone who simply prefers to take information on board aurally rather than by reading.
Bob Bond, Chief Customer Network Officer for Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: ‘This enhancement to our ATMs provides greater access and choice. We hope the increased independence and privacy it offers will enable a new group of people to access ATMs and undertake an essential activity that so many of us take for granted.’
Fazilet Hadi, RNIB’s Group Director of Inclusive Society, added: ‘We are delighted Barclays has kept its promise and rolled out speech-enabled ATMs, benefiting thousands of people with sight loss. We believe banks in the UK should provide ATMs with audio facilities for their blind and partially sighted customers across their ATM networks and now call for other banks to follow Barclays’ example.’