BNZ prepares ATMs for blind

BNZ is readying a score of automatic teller machines for use by blind people.

BNZ is readying a score of automatic teller machines for use by blind people.

David Denny, the bank’s manager self-service, says BNZ already has 20 ATMs around the country equipped for audio but the facility has not yet been implemented. This is waiting on software development by its US partner, Phoenix Interactive, which has done similar work for the Bank of America.

Some of the machines “at least” are likely to be activated by early next year, he says.

In a story on digital incentives for blind users last week Computerworld was initially unable to obtain a response from the BNZ on its progress towards audio-capable ATMs. The bank sent no representative to a discussion on audio ATMs coordinated by the Association of Blind Citizens.

The BNZ says it has been working in association with the NZ Foundation for the Blind. The foundation, which the “for” indicates, is an organisation to coordinate service provision to blind people, whereas the ABC, with its “of”, is a consumer organisation, with blind people on its ruling committee.

Denny says he was unaware of the ABC, but adds that the bank has spoken with foundation members who are blind, so is dealing with the consumer. It will now contact the ABC and ensure it is included in discussion on audio ATM plans, he says.

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