5 ways to make your branches more accessible

Banks provide local financial services and make an important contribution to the lives of their customers. This is precisely why inclusion and accessibility are not buzzwords for financial institutions, but a social responsibility. We have summarised five ways you can make your bank branches more inclusive and think outside the box of legal requirements:

1. Barrier-free entrance

Accessibility can already be practised at the entrance. Steps make access difficult for people with wheelchairs or walkers. Retrofittable ramps are a quick remedy, but attention must be paid to their gradient and the radius of the path.

Even better: avoid steps in new buildings and build driveways in the course of conversion work on existing branches.

2. Simple language

Long texts can easily be misunderstood. Simple language, on the other hand, helps to understand content better. That is why banks should also write in simple language.

Complex issues or legally binding texts should be made understandable for all customers. Not only people with learning difficulties are helped by the use of simple language, but also people with little knowledge of German or who are illiterate.

There is no precise set of rules for simple language, but some principles help with implementation:

  • Write short sentences without convoluting them
  • Describe only one thought per sentence
  • Write out abbreviations
  • Do not use foreign words, synonyms or metaphors
  • Give the content a clear structure

3. Barrier-free and accessible interior

The first point of contact for many customers is the counter. Instead of the classic counter, a height-adjustable desk creates more proximity at eye level. Here, too, it is important: Consider the path radii and provide enough space for comfortable access with a wheelchair or walker.

In the self-service zone, banks and savings banks can rely on barrier-free ATMs and account service terminals. All KEBA self-service systems are considered barrier-free according to EU standard EN 301 549, which has also been adopted into DIN and ÖNORM. Additional comfort and increased safety are provided by the accessible cash recyclers of the evo series, KePlus RT10 and KePlus FT10.

4. Orientation aids for the visually impaired

Many people are familiar with them from public facilities, such as railway stations. These are tactile "strips", also known as floor indicators, for blind and visually impaired people. They can use them to find their way to the self-service zone or to the counter quickly and safely.

To ensure easy operation of the ATM for blind and visually impaired persons, audio guidance via headphones is crucial. Customers are guided step by step through the operating process. Braille pictograms make orientation at the self-service machine even easier.

Furthermore, these people can be helped to independently obtain all important information, such as opening hours, etc., by means of Braille signs in the outdoor area.

5. Induction systems and sign language interpreters

Discretion is needed when talking about one's finances. People with low hearing ability benefit from on-site induction devices that send spoken words directly to hearing aids. In this way, you take into account the desired discretion and improve the customer experience on site.

Deaf people's access to financial services can be improved by sign language trained advisors. Alternatively, institutions can also establish contacts with sign language interpreters.

Bonus: Consult experts

Of course, there are many other ways in which banks and savings banks can make access and the use of branches easier and more barrier-free. Specialised consultancies can take an objective look at what is already in place and help with implementation.

KEBA, for example, has been working successfully for years with the Austrian experts from myAbility.

Junge Kundin im Rollstuhl am Automaten

Wheel-under systems from the evo series can also be seamlessly integrated.

Nahaufnahme: Frau steckt Kopfhörer via Kopfhörerbuchse an den KePlus D10 an

An audio-visual user guide supports blind and visually impaired people in operating the system.

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