Showing posts with label Accessible banking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Accessible banking. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Revised Code of Bank's Commitment to Customers: 2014 integrates needs of Seniors & Disabled

Dear Colleagues,

After the recent guidelines of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) & Indian Bank's Association (IBA) detailing on accessibility of banks and its services for the disabled and elderly, needs of certain disabilities under the National Trust etc, the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) which lays down the voluntary codes adopted by banks has in its 2014 revised version of the code has prominently dedicated a section on Senior Citizens and Differently abled.

This is a voluntary Code of Customer Rights, which sets minimum standards of banking practices member banks have to follow while they deal with individual customers. It provides protection to customers and explains how banks are expected to deal with customers in their day-to-day operations.

The extract of Section 11 from the recently revised Code is reproduced for your information below:

Extract from Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers – January 2014

a. We will make our best efforts to make it easy and convenient for our special customers like senior citizens, differently abled and illiterate persons to bank with us. This will include making convenient policies, products and services for such applicants and customers.
b. We will endeavour to develop systems and procedures to improve access to banking services by you.
c. We will endeavour to make physical access to our branches and ATMs convenient for you.
d. We will sensitise our staff interacting with you to assist you in carrying out your banking transactions.
e. In addition to all the other commitments made in this Code –
i. We will accord due priority to you. We will endeavour to provide you personalized services for banking transactions and redressal of grievances.

ii. We will endeavour to provide seating arrangements in the banking hall.
iii. We will endeavour to provide you our services through a Single Window mechanism.
iv. We will permit withdrawal of your funds, up to limits set by you, by persons authorized by you on production of the authorization letter and passbook.
v. We will endeavour to provide ‘Doorstep’ banking (pick up of cash /instruments for credit to the account or delivery of cash / demand drafts against issue of cheque / requisition in writing) in special circumstances like ill health, inability to come to the branch, etc.
vi. We will issue a pension slip to you (pensioners) containing details of the pension credited to your account.
vii. We will endeavour to arrange to disburse the pension at the doorstep, in special circumstances.
viii. We will accept the Life Certificate that is required to be submitted by you (pensioners) at any branch of our bank.
ix. We will guide relatives / parents of disabled persons on how to appoint a legal guardian, under the National Trust Act, 1999, for disabled persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities who can then open and operate accounts for such persons.
x. We will ensure that all the banking facilities such as cheque book facility, ATM facility, Net banking facility, locker facility, retail loans, credit cards etc., are invariably offered to the visually challenged without any discrimination.
xi. We will render all possible assistance to the visually challenged for availing various banking facilities.
xii. We will endeavour to arrange regular meetings so that you may voice your concerns and benefit from collective experience.
To read the entire code, please click the link: Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers – January 2014

RBI takes one step ahead towards incorporating Universal Design tenets in Banking System

Dear Colleagues,
Taking a step ahead towards incorporating universal accessibility in Banking systems, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated today that all new ATMs to be installed by commercial banks from July 2014 onwards would provide audible instructions and Braille keypads to customers,  besides being made accessible for wheelchair users.
The RBI’s directive came on its prior advice to banks through a notification dated 13 April 2009 to make bank branches and ATMs accessible to people with disabilities and make at least one-third of the new ATMs installed as talking ATMs with Braille keypads.
RBI has now mandated that all Banks  will have to take necessary steps to provide all existing ATMs / future ATMs with ramps so that wheelchair users / persons with disabilities can easily access them. Care is also to be taken to make arrangements in such a way that the height of the ATMs do not create an impediment in their use by wheelchair users. 
Wherever,  it is impracticable to provide such ramp facilities, whether permanently fixed to earth or otherwise, this requirement may be dispensed with, for reasons recorded and displayed in branches or ATMs concerned.
In addition to the above, magnifying glasses should also be provided in all bank branches for the use of persons with low vision, wherever they require for carrying out banking transactions with ease.
The bank branches should display at a prominent place notice about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for persons with disabilities.
“It is, therefore, reiterated that banks should make all new ATMs installed from July 1, 2014, as talking ATMs with Braille keypads,” RBI said in a notification.
RBI also wants the Banks to lay down a road map for converting all existing ATMs as talking ATMs with Braille keypads and the same  be reviewed from time to time.

Related news:

Friday, October 5, 2012

State Bank of India to transform 2500 ATMs as Talking ATMs

Dear Colleagues,

Wonderful news for all our blind brethern. State Bank of India - the largest public sector bank in India with established reach in rural India will transform over 2500 Bank ATMs to Voice guided ATMs (Talking ATMs) that will benefit the visually impaired users. Earlier Union Bank of India has launched its talking ATMs.

Here is the news report from

Supporting RBI’s objective of providing financial accessibility to every citizen in India irrespective of his or her disability, NCR Corporation, the ATM service provider, will transform over 2,500 State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs to Voice-Guided ATMs -- which not only allows access to visually impaired people but also people with physical disabilities through ramps for wheel chair access. SBIs first real ATM for the visually impaired was showcased at Antarchakshu, a sensitisation workshop, organised by Xavier's Research Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

NCR's Talking ATMs are incorporated with unique software and hardware features which ensure that a person with a disability can operate the machine on his own, while maintaining the safety of the transaction. These ATM machines are designed as per Access for All (AFA) standards and comprises of accessible key pads, voice-guidance technology, Braille stickers and multi-lingual capability. Apart from reading aloud screen messages, the machine also provides complete orientation making it easy for the customer to use the machine. An important security feature of this ATM is that it provides the person an option to blank out the screen as a safety mechanism to avoid shoulder surfing by any by-stander trying to access customer data during the transaction.

Nagesh Nayak, Professional Services Practice Manager, NCR said, “We are proud to partner with SBI which is India’s largest banking and financial services company to upgrade their ATMs for the disabled. As a concerned corporate, NCR is constantly reinventing innovation for the Indian market place and this specialised ATM is a clear reflection of it. Indian banks and financial institutions are quickly realising the need to adopt self-service technologies to include the millions of differently-abled people into the financial stream and NCR is committed to helping these institutions by providing technologies that are conceptualised, created, and manufactured in India.”

The NCR Talking ATM uses a text-to-speech engine which allows voicing-out the text on the screen in multiple languages for consumer convenience. Instead to issuing Special Cards for the customers with disabilities since it can become difficult to maintain track of whether the correct card has been issued, SBI has chosen to make its existing ATM network, AFA compliant by simply customising their existing ATM software stack and upgrading the hardware configuration of its ATM fleet.

India has one of the largest visually impaired populations in the world and hence the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through its circulars in 2008 and 2009 stated that all banking services including ATM cards need to be offered to customers with disabilities without any discrimination.

At the Antarchasku event, Dr. Sam Taraporevala, Director of XRCVC said, “For the XRCVC it is a very proud moment to witness the roll out of a large number of SBI ATMs. Antarchakshu at JNU New Delhi, has the privilege of hosting one such ATM. The event will go a long way at creating the necessary awareness and sensitisation so necessary to promote financial, educational and employment opportunities.”