Skip to main content

Digital Accessibility in Banking & Finance

20 July, 2021 by Moiz Yamani

A piggy bank - Digital Accessibility in Banking & Finance - WCAG | Section 508 | ADA

The need for digital accessibility in the sector of Banking and Finance has grown exponentially over the past few years. Banking and Finance Institutions are turning toward more accessible means to serve their customers. 

Our team at BarrierBreak, specializing in digital accessibility testing, ensures that your website and mobile applications are accessible by everyone and are ADA & Section 508 Compliant.  

Quick Preview 

Contrary to popular belief, people with disabilities of all ages are least inclined, or at least less inclined, to use a computer or smartphone to conduct their banking transactions. Researchers found that more than three in five people could not use financial websites and apps due to barriers to access. More worryingly, three-quarters of visually impaired people who used online banking and other financial services turned to a sighted person for help in carrying out their financial activities. 

Accessibility All The Way 

Accessibility will be at the heart of efforts by banks and other financial institutions in 2021. Failure to provide access to websites, apps and online documents such as forms and PDFs could lead to litigation and require a much-needed and expensive transformation.  

An accessible banking and finance website ensures that everyone has equal access to the features and services of the pages. As we see a trend towards online banking, making banking websites and apps accessible that are Section 508 and ADA compliant has become important. 

Consumers and businesses using banking and financial services are increasingly turning to web-based and digital platforms to satisfy their needs. In light of reports of increasing lawsuits against credit institutions for lack of accessibility of websites, high customer expectations for inclusive financial services and significant updates to web accessibility policies in the coming years, it is important for product owners, managers and practitioners in the banking and financial sector to draw up accessibility plans.  

The Internet includes websites and applications and banks have been implementing various accessibility policies for people with disabilities. However, an enormous amount remains to be done, not only in terms of implementing directives, but also to change the mindset of all those involved in the creation of online banking services. 

To know more about ADA compliance for websites, check out our blog. 

The COVID Concern 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, banks and dozens of other businesses have been restricted or shut down as customers are urged to stay home and exercise social dissociation, as ordered by the federal government and many state governments. The number of complaints against credit institutions has increased in recent years. 

As a result, financial institutions that rely on online banking will continue to serve millions of customers across the country. In the financial industry, the number of interactive websites and mobile applications for customers is increasing. Many companies rely on financial technology (fintech) platform companies for their website templates and mobile online banking apps. 

A large proportion of the audience uses financial services on mobile devices. A 2016 report by the Federal Reserve System on consumer mobile financial services showed that more people are checking bank balances, transferring money and engaging in other financial activities using mobile devices and that the number of people using mobile devices instead of desktop computers is likely to increase. 

People with disabilities urgently need accessible online financial services! 

Then & Now 

While in the past solutions such as Braille displays, barrier-free ATMs, special telephone lines for people using TTY, TDD and text phones worked, many disabled customers want to take advantage of today’s technology. With the help of digital accessibility, you must ensure that your website, mobile apps and other electronic resources can be used by customers with a variety of disabilities.

Technology has changed and accessibility solutions that worked in 2008 may not be enough in 2021. 

Digital accessibility means to ensure barrier-free log-in to your website or using your mobile apps easily by customers with disabilities. It means enabling customers with a disability check their accounts, pay bills, transfer funds and establish cheques with an ease. Your website should not only be user-friendly for screen readers but should also be accessible on a variety of different assistive technology devices and fall under the robust pillars of WCAG. 

As more and more technologies over the years have been developed, such as screen readers, text enhancement software and programs that facilitate computer functions with the user’s voice, poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, much like poorly designed buildings. 

Differentiate yourself from other Banking & Financial Service Providers

Access of banking & financial solutions is necessary for all including people with disabilities. However, 40% of banks lack accessibility, which means that many elements of their websites are imperceptible to customers using a screen reader. 

This is where we come in! Our highly skilled team at BarrierBreak, comprising of disabled accessibility testers, not only ensures that your website is made accessible and easy for anyone to navigate through it, but also makes sure that they comply to ADA & Section 508 accessibility standards. 

Write to sales@barrierbreak.com to help you with Banking & Finance Digital Accessibility. 

Comments

Not yet commented

Leave a reply

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.