RBI makes 'talking ATMs' mandatory to help disabled users
22 May 2014
All new automated teller machines (ATMs) being installed by commercial banks from July onwards must have capability to provide audible instructions and Braille keypads to customers, the Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday.
The RBI's directive came on its prior advice to banks in 2009 to make bank branches and ATMs accessible to people with disabilities and make at least one-third of the new ATMs installed as talking ATMs with Braille keypads.
"It is, therefore, reiterated that banks should make all new ATMs installed from July 1, 2014, as talking ATMs with Braille keypads," RBI said in a notification.
Further, "Banks should lay down a road map for converting all existing ATMs as talking ATMs with Braille keypads and the same may be reviewed from time to time," it said.
RBI also asked banks to make necessary arrangements to provide all existing ATMs / future ATMs with ramps so that wheel chair users / persons with disabilities can easily access them.
"Care may also be taken to make arrangements in such a way that the height of the ATMs do not create an impediment in their use by wheelchair users," RBI said.
However, RBI said this requirement may be dispensed with in cases where it is impracticable to provide ramps.
Further, RBI also asked banks to provide magnifying glasses at all bank branches for the use of persons with low vision.
The branches should display at a prominent place notice about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for persons with disabilities, it added.
To ensure compliance with the new directives, RBI also asked banks to report the progress made in this regard periodically to their customer service committee.