Saturday, September 8, 2012

One-third of new ATMs should be visually-challenged friendly

Chandigarh, September 7: The Reserve Bank of India has asked all banks to make efforts to provide banking services available to all. In a circular issued to all state-run commercial banks, the central bank has advised them to ensure all banking facilities such as chequebooks, ATMs, internet banking, lockers, retail loans, credit cards, etc, are invariably offered to visually challenged persons, without any discrimination as they are legally competent to contract.
The RBI has also directed the banks to take necessary steps to provide all existing or proposed ATMs with ramps and to provide at least a third of new ones installed, with as talking features and Braille keypads.
The move follows a complaint filed by the office of the chief commissioner for persons with disabilities, alleging visually challenged persons face problems in using banking facilities. "Banks are therefore advised to strictly extend all banking facilities to persons with visual impairment and other disabilities, reads the circular.
Most banks allow the visually impaired to open joint bank accounts only. Since ATMs are not voice enabled they cannot be accessed.

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