It is of utmost importance that the blind and the visually impaired should be able to live as independently as possible. They have their own right to control over their personal finances. Needless to say they should have access to automatic teller machines (ATMs), an important part of banking services. Access to confidential information like PIN services is not only a matter of better customer service, but recognition of the rights of persons with visually impairment.
Are internet and phone banking as well as ATM services accessible for the blinds? A sighted person can take resort to internet banking whenever they like. However whenever it comes to visually impaired persons, many of them are not provided with equal opportunities in banking services as their sighted peers and are excluded from accessing banking services. Information and communication technology (ICT) has made digital access to the banking services a distinct reality. The blind are yet to embrace digital transaction. Since some ATMs may lack Braille systems, the blind may find it difficult entering of keying in PIN numbers. Full financial inclusion to them means they should have access to a suite of banking services. Access to and inclusion in banking services is critical to poverty reduction and participation in economic growth.
It is true that helping the blinds get better access to banking services remains a daunting task. Since many of the people with visually impairment are not comfortable with internet or mobile banking, they depend on their sighted peers. They tell their PIN to sighted friends who in turn complete the transactions for them.
Financial independence is an integral part of independent living whereby the blinds have equal access as people without disabilities. They should enjoy the same access and control of their own financial affairs. The increasing nature of banking services now available through technology has triggered growing demand for accessibility among visually impaired persons.
The banking sector should work towards improving accessibility to banking services for visually impaired persons. Auto Teller Machines and Online Banking are some of the most preferred methods of accessing one’s bank account. ATMs should be made accessible. There is an urgent need to develop user friendly ATMs that can be used effectively by the blinds without the assistance of ordinary people who may take advantage of their visual challenges.
The visually impaired will always find it difficult entering of keying in PIN numbers because some ATMs lack Braille systems. This is even more so with touch screens and the absence of voice feedback for various onscreen functions.
There are several problems faced by the blind and visually impaired persons when they consider banking services. First of all the complex schemes of the banks are hard for people with visual impairments. Internet banking is become increasingly popular day by day thanks to its ease of use and convenience. It eliminates the need of physically going to a bank