PNC Bank is to test the use of cell phones for the delivery of 'person-to-person' ATM access as part of a tentative settlement of a lawsuit brought against the bank by two visually impaired customers.
Under the terms of the settlement, PNC will be the first financial institution in the US to undertake a programme which entails remote bank representatives talking visually impaired customers through a live ATM transaction. The tentative settlement has been submitted to US District Court Judge Donetta Ambrose for preliminary approval.
The proposed solution calls for a testing and development phase followed by a pilot programme which will involve customers calling a toll-free number by cellphone to speak to a bank representative who will guide them through each transaction and confirm withdrawal of funds.
According to James Walker, a senior vice president responsible for PNC's ATM network: "Person-to-person ATM access will mean the visually impaired are empowered to use an ATM on their own without relying on a friend, or sometimes a passerby, to help them complete a transaction with their money."
Walker says the outcome is consistent with PNC's efforts to expand the services provided by the bank's 3000-strong ATM network.