National Australia Bank to audio-enable ATM network

National Australia Bank to audio-enable ATM network

National Australia Bank is installing private audio jacks at its national ATM network to help visually-impaired customers use its cash machines.

The bank says it will audio-enable 64 cash machines by the end of the month. Half of its national ATM network will be audio-enabled by May 2004 and in future all new machines will include audio functions.

To use the audio function, customers insert their headphone point into a socket located on the face of the ATMs upper right hand corner, near the keypad. The audio track plays in parallel with the screen flows. In the event of non-action by the customer, the audio track is repeated.

Dennis Pozzobon, The National's head of distribution, says the audio machines will enable customers to withdraw cash, print account balances and transfer funds. Deposit functionality is currently being piloted.

"The audio ATMs are simple to use as the voice message is transmitted privately via the customer's own headphones, and therefore provides independence and convenience without compromising the necessary security for financial transactions," says Pozzobon.

The move follows an an extensive pilot programme, run on both Diebold and NCR ATMs, and supported by Royal Victorian Institute of the Blind (RVIB) and Blind Citizens Australia.

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