Australian banks commit to greater accessibility

Posted 5 years ago by Nicole Pope
People with disability will soon enjoy greater access to banking services and products [Source: Shutterstock]
People with disability will soon enjoy greater access to banking services and products [Source: Shutterstock]

People with disability will have improved access to banking products and services thanks to new principles endorsed by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) Council.

The Accessibility Principles ensure greater accessibility for all areas of banking including websites, mobile banking, device design and use, telephone services, voice activated services, assistive technology and areas relating to customer authentication.

Human rights advocate and former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes AM led the recent review of the banking industry’s accessibility standards, the first review of its kind since 2002.

He was supported by the various bank representatives who formed the Accessibility Working Group.

“The existing standards are about 15 years old, so both the industry and the disability sector recognised that there was a huge need to review the standards,” he says.

“We consulted extensively on these principles, with buy-in from the banks and the disability sector, which will provide a solid platform to provide people with a disability world-class banking services well into the future.”

Mr Innes says the banking industry is a leader in delivering services to people with disability and says the principles will further improve banking products and services.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh says the banks have worked hard alongside key advocates like Mr Innes, to ensure the success of the principles.

“Every week millions of Australians tap, press, swipe, download, transfer and click their way through their daily lives to book a holiday, get paid, order groceries or even find a date.”

“New technologies have heralded an era where a disparate world has been drawn closer together, however, for the four million Australians with disability this has not always been the case with technology often providing an invisible barrier.”

“This is why we are releasing new principles which will help guide banks as they design future products to ensure they are fully able to be used by those Australians living with disability.”

To further demonstrate its commitment to accessible banking for all, the ABA Council will commit to a review of the Accessibility Principles within two years.