UBI Rolls Out ATMs for the Disabled

by Sohini Bagchi    Jun 11, 2012

Union Bank of India (UBI), a leading public sector bank has rolled out out the country’s first Talking ATM (Automated Teller Machine) for the disabled.

The ATM was inaugurated in Ahmadabad, Gujarat and allows people with disabilities to independently carry out the complete transaction process. The technology has been designed by NCR Corporation, a global ATM manufacturer that develops customised ATMs for the banking sector.

UBI deployed the Voice Guidance Solution of NCR together with NCR Cash Dispenser SelfServ 22e. The ATM is equipped with an ASA-approved keypad. Features such as Braille stickers, audio and voice-guidance and provision of wheelchair ramps further make it accessible for those who are visually impaired or have other forms of disability.

According to D Sarkar, Chairman and Managing Director - Union Bank of India, “By setting up this ATM in Gujarat, we are offering a token of gratitude to Mahatma Gandhi, who, in 1921, laid the foundation stone of the bank.”

He explained that the ATM has a voice interface with headphones attached to it so that customers can hear the instructions and fill in the required data. The labels on the ATMs are written in Braille and unlike a regular ATM, here a blind person is able to hear the move he makes as he uses the keyboard to type out his ATM personal identification number (PIN). Moreover, the disable friendly design also enables a person in wheel chair to operate the ATM independently.

The machine also has an option to blank out the screen as a safety mechanism. This is to ensure that no bystander misuses the pin.

Nagesh Nayak, Professional Services Practice Manager, NCR said, “With more talking ATMs deployed all over the country, the access to self-service technology is ensured and that it also makes the lives of persons with disabilities more convenient. As a concerned corporate, NCR has been developing specialized machines for this cause.”

The ATM currently operates in English and Hindi and will come up in some more Indian languages, in the months to come.

As per the recent Reserve Bank of India guidelines, a third of the ATMs to be installed have to be talking ATMs with a Braille keypad and should spread across every location in the country.