Supporting RBI’s objective of providing financial accessibility to every citizen in India keeping in mind disabled people, NCR Corporation India’s leading ATM manufacturer and service provider, will deploy over 100 Voice Guided ATMs — which not only allows access to visually challenged people but also people with physical disabilities through ramps for wheel chair access, for Union Bank of India (UBI) – India’s pioneer public sector bank. The city’s first‘Talking ATM’ was inaugurated today at The Passport Seva Kendra in Thane bySri D Sarkar, CMD, UBI.
Following the successful pilot and first ‘Talking ATM’ deployment in Ahmedabad, NCR has been contracted to deploy a further such100 ATMs for UBI, of which, over 50 ATMs will be deployed at Passport Seva Kendras and at other UBI locations around the country.
The ‘Talking ATM’ is designed as per Access forAll (AFA) standards and comprise of accessible key pads, voice-guidance technology, Braille stickers and multi-lingual capability for the disabled people. When a visually challenged person attaches his headphone set to this ATM, he can hear the instruction which enables him to fill-in the required data using the numerickeypad. Apart from reading aloud screen messages, the machine 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nagesh Nayak,Professional Services Practice Manager, NCR said, “NCR is constantly reinventing innovation for the Indian market place and this specialized ATM is a clear reflection of it. NCR is committed to helping banks and financial institutions in India with enabling technologies that is conceptualised, created, and manufactured in India to be relevant to the demands of the financial industry who aims to reach out to the over 50% unbanked population in the country.”
“An Accessible ATM is disabled-friendly and is designed in a way which allows the complete transaction process to be independently carried by the person with disabilities. 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. Banks can make their existing ATM network, AFA compliant by simply customising their existing ATM software stack and upgrading the hardware configuration of the existing ATM fleet.” he added.
Since issuing ‘Special Cards’ for the customers with disabilities can become difficult to maintain a track of whether correct cards are issued, UBI found that NCR’s ‘Voice Guidance Solution’ is the best fit for this requirement. Deploying these ATMs across 50 Passport Seva Kendra sensures maximum reach throughout the country.
“This is part of a very historic process for “Project Access: A Sight savers – XRCVC initiative”, Dr. Sam Taraporevala, XRCVCex claimed. “This marks the proof of a concept in the area of accessible ATMs. We applaud the contribution of UBI and NCR in actually delivering a fully talking accessible bilingual ATM which the blind and low vision users can operate independently. Let this be a beginning to the comprehensive deployment of such machines by all banks across India. It is high time that the RBI norms of April 2009 making it mandatory for one third of all new ATMs to be accessible is actually implemented in letter and spirit. We now need to scaleup the deployment of such ATMs rapidly.”
India is amongst the countries with the largest visually impaired population and disabled people 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.