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Mobile Banking - including voice to improve accessibility

Last week Google released details of a new audio interface it is working on to improve accessibility.  They say "An adaptive interface with tactile and audio feedback could make it easier to ignore a small screen".  See the full article at:

We think this is a great step to improve accessibility on a range of devices - and can be used for people with sight impairment but also just for when you are on the move.

One mobile banking app already being used today has this capability - while you can read the tiny type off the very small screen, you can also have it read out the balances and transactions as you go.

Bankstown City Credit Union was the first financial institution with this functionality - see



What are you doing to improve accessibility in your applications?


Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 09 June, 2009, 04:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

A couple of years ago we demonstrated a mobile transaction and authentication system which coincidentaly spoke to the user. While it was great to demonstrate that the system was so easy a blind man could do it we found that most users wanted a more discreet approach.

There were some with smart phones who did however like the idea of using their voice to authenticate. It was a novelty which wore off quickly even though the voice yacking at you was as human as it gets and not like the voice of Microsoft's text reader.

Samantha's blink on the old Bewitched TV show is how most consumers want it to happen. Money movement is only a small part of what they want to happen.

Discretion rules. It's also a time thing. Make it fast and make it easy.

Google's effort is, as you point out - nothing new, and we've come a very long way since then.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 09 June, 2009, 08:54Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thanks Dean, not sure what you meant by 'discreet' they can hold it to their ear to hear the info - they don't have to pump it through a speaker stack.

The voice is human in our system too - customers prefer to here the voice already associated with their banks phone based systems and this is easy to deliver given the existing investments in phone banking.

The key is being able to offer those who need it the choice - as their options are limited without it.





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