Breaking News: Bank of America Settlement Announced
Bank of America announced today that they have entered into a structured settlement to make its mobile and security applications accessible and ADA compliant.
From the press release:
As part of its long-standing commitment to customers with visual impairments, Bank of America announced today that it is enhancing the accessibility of its award-winning Online and Mobile Banking security features.
Bank of America’s security features allow customers to safely access their accounts from home computers and mobile devices. The accessibility enhancements announced today will apply to both Online and Mobile Banking on Apple products with iOS operating systems.
Bank of America will continue to use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA as the standard for ensuring that Online and Mobile Banking application content, features and services are accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.
“It is our goal and priority to provide all customers with the most convenient, secure and accessible banking platforms. We continuously develop and enhance our products and services to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our customers,” said David Godsman, Online and Mobile Solutions executive at Bank of America.
Bank of America worked with the Bay State Council of the Blind and customers with visual impairments on its newest accessibility initiative. Marcia Dresser, president of the Bay State Council of the Blind, the Massachusetts affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, praised the bank’s efforts; “For many years, Bank of America has been a strong partner to the blind community in improving access to a wide variety of banking services. These accessibility enhancements to Mobile and Online Banking security features are a welcome addition to the bank’s commitment to customers with disabilities.”
Financial Institutions, Take Note!
This settlement is instructive to other financial institutions for the following reasons:
1) As with other legal activity around ADA compliance, it was just a pair of users (a husband and wife) who encountered barriers in BOA’s resources that resulted in this major settlement. As we’ve shared in webinars and previous communications, a single instance of a user encountering a barrier carries meaningful risk for an organization.
2) BOA’s mobile applications are front and center in the structured settlement. In a matter of a year, ADA compliance for mobile applications has changed from being secondary to being a major focus of legal activity. Mobile technology users with disabilities are used to a high level of accessibility built into their devices, particularly iOS devices. Therefore, when a mobile app is inaccessible, it sticks out as a negative experience.