Co-operative Bank rolls out talking ATMs

Source: Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank have today announced the launch of the first talking ATMs with high contrast screens for blind and partially sighted customers with the over 400 going live today (23rd May).

The Bank will then launch over 1,000 ATMs with talking functionality by the end of 2013, with a further 1,000 planned for 2014.

Talking ATMs deliver private, spoken instructions through a headset which is plugged in to the ATM. High contrast screens are also being introduced (a UK first) which will aid many partially sighted customers. The customer will be able to complete transactions on their own in a convenient environment at any time.

The 'talking ATM' functionality will eventually be available at all Co-operative Bank branch ATMs and at most ATMs at Co-operative Food stores. The service will be available to Link or Visa card holders from all banks.

David Fawell, Head of Payments at The Co-operative Bank says; "We are committed to implementing talking and high contrast services on our cash machines. We have started the roll out and by the end of 2013 we'll have 1,000 of our ATMs enabled to "talk". Our aim is to extend this out to over 2,000 cash machines which is three quarters of our entire estate by the end of 2014."

The roll-out has been supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), a charity who advise and support the nation's blind and partially sighted population of nearly two million people. The RNIB are currently campaigning to urge all banks to introduce this service.

Keen campaigner and Co-operative Bank customer, Mark Ellis, says; "I have felt very passionately about the introduction of talking ATM's for a number of years and have spent a lot of time campaigning so I'm thrilled that the Co-operative Bank now has so many available. Conveniently, there is one 400 yards from my house and it has made such a difference. I feel that I have my independence back as for the last 30 years I've relied on help when getting my cash out.

I feel it's compulsory for banks to assist their blind or partially sighted customers and I hope more will commit to launching the ATM's soon."

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