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.”
Notes to Editors
The above announcement will affect users of Co-operative Bank ATMs at branches or at Co-operative Food stores.
About The Co-operative Banking Group
The Co-operative Banking Group, is the banking and insurance arm of The Co-operative Group, which is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers.
The Co-operative Group has 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people, and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.
It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and one of Britain’s largest farming operations.
The Co-operative Banking Group is one of the largest and most highly diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets. As part of The Co-operative Group, the business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.
The Co-operative Banking Group has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and major presences in Manchester, Leek, London, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.
It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.