The Wall Street Journal is reporting that banks are looking for new ways to attract and meet customer demand, which includes expanding mobile service offerings. These services vary by financial institution, but may include money transfers, transaction views, check deposits, and bill pays, to name a few.
Accessible Mobile Apps
While we applaud the banks for their efforts to attract and reach more people through these expanded services, we are disappointed that there is no mention of how important it is to make these mobile applications accessible to all, including customers with disabilities.
Deque contributor Pat Pound put it best, "Failing to mention mobile banking accessibility is an egregious oversight in an otherwise well-written piece. For millions of people with disabilities, mobile banking offers one of the first opportunities for managing one's money independently."
Pound goes on to say that "without such access, many customers with disabilities must employ someone to read bills and statements, write checks, make deposits, and/or must travel by bus to the bank."
If mobile banking applications are accessible to those with disabilities, it allows them to do all of these tasks. Pound notes that banks are missing out on potential new customers who are looking for a bank with accessibility services.
F. Scott Dueser, Chief Executive of First Financial cited the appeal of "opening new accounts and taking care of our customers to make the bank grow" as a major reason for wanting to expand his bank's mobile services. What Dueser is missing here is that new customers may not be able to use a one-size-fits-all solution.
If the banks cited in the Wall Street Journal article aren't thinking about accessibility for their new mobile offerings, we hope they will begin to take the needs of everyone into account when developing or updating their mobile applications.
- If you have a mobile application and would like to make sure that it is accessible to all, request a mobile accessibility evaluation.
- If you would like more information about accessibility and the banking industry, download our free whitepaper.
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