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for the Blind

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Online Banking Experiences

I am on an ADA compliance / web accessibility committee for a major bank. I am interesting in talking about what banks are doing right and wrong to facilitate your needs.

What kinds of banking service systems do you use (walk-in, ATM, telephone banking, internet) and what has your experience been like?

Your input will have a real effect on the committee's recommendations and the implementation of them bank wide.

I look forward to reading your thoughtful comments.



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Re:Online Banking Experiences

my stupid spellchecker made ATM's into tam's. grrrrr
sometimes depending on this technology leads to laziness.

Re:Online Banking Experiences

my bank is actually a federal credit union.
they are called desert schools. they have been very good for me over the last decade or so. I had very few problems using their tam's when I was a low partial. they outfitted their terminals with braille and voice options. Their website seems to be a close model to the w3 convention. they have only 2 flash images for advertisements. I can use Voiceover on a mac without a lot of difficulty on their website. 4 months I went total. I tried to see if there was anything on their site since then that I had problems accessing. I found 2 areas. I gave a call to their CSR line and asked to speak with the in-house webmaster. the issues were cleared up within 48 hours. their staff at the individual branches are courteous and helpful, the phone bank isn't had to navigate and the website doesn't have 10 billion links I would have to navigate. overall, I'd rate these guys as a 8.9 out of 10 (the audio interface on the tams is hard to locate).

I've tried to help a room mate with his Bank of America account and found the site so frustrating that I gave up and told him to use the phone. he seems happy with that.

Re:Online Banking Experiences

My bank, BANK of the West, sent me an email link to a beta version of their new website that will replacing the existing site, to one that will be using flash. GRRRR!

Daniel Moore

Re:Online Banking Experiences

This thread was started in 2001 and a lot of things have changed. Could ringerd [sp?] please tell us about the present state of banking for the blind? What has been accomplished and what problems remain? ===gm===

Re:Online Banking Experiences

Now more than one year later and still no action to force FECCA, CHASE or other banking institutions to meet the needs of blind users who depend on website banking accessibility. We received a letter the other day from FECCA informing us that an employee had their lap top stolen with proprietary consumer information on it. My question is why would a bank employee be keeping client information on their laptop? They force blind people to view images they cannot see, outsource the clients banking activities to third party sources, compromising the security of the client account and yet they refuese to make simple two factor authentication for blind users? For the record there is no law that mandates they use of PASSMARK it is the munipulation of the vendor and the lending institution to continually discriminate against blind users who desire to engage in online banking.

Re:Online Banking Experiences - Credit Union

I also use a FECCA - Federal Express Employees Credit Association- The continued denial and blocking from online access through a third party processer is frustrating and time consuming. The fact that I used this service for more than two years without all the questions, image files and invasion of privacy with questions that have no relevancy to business banking it aggravating and frustrating. Additionally this credit union has now denied any member who has direct social security deposits from access to member services available to other members which in my opinion is descriminating.

Members often use credit unions to save money and yet they are also denying access to blind members who rely on direct deposit as a safety measure to protect their minimal access to funds for support.

The fact that banks and credit unions want to protect the privacy and safety of online banking continues to fail through deliberate invasion of private information that is not of any importance other than tracking it does not make the site any safer. Use three log in identification processs and set at the bank with the person present then there is no need to change the log in information.

Re:Online Banking Experiences

I originally opened my account with Chase in 2001 when it was still Bank One. The online banking is most beneficial outside of the fact the facility continues to block funds transfers when the consumer needs this method. They offer account transfer services from one bank to another and yet make you wait three or more days to complete the transacitons. They offer wire transfers then make you wait to verify your bank account the fact is they refuse to help blind banking consumers with accomodating needs when requested. They definitely do not meet ADA webaccessibility guide lines.

I use Cambridge Savings BAnk. It's a bank local to the Boston Massachusetts area with a small number of branches. I kept it even though I only lived in that area a short time as what I do get is very good service from the people there which has proved better than banks that have better electronic service. They have no accessible ATM's and a phone banking service that is adequate but more limited than others - I need to type my account number in multiple time to get multiple services from one call.

They have started an electronic banking service that had some access problems during the sign-up process which I was able to get past and then I waas informed I would be receiving my password via print mail. This resulted in my not being able to access the account for months till a reader could locate the password. When I contacted them (by email) about the access problems, including needing some alternative to the print mail in order to get a password, I was told they were looking into it and had consultants from the National Federation of the Blind to help them. The next month my statement came with a casette recording of the statement included. I don't know why and it only happened once. They never fixed the access problems with the web site.

Despite these problems, the electronic banking works quite nicely for me,. I figgured out that if I got a display of up to a years worth of transactions I could save the page, convert it to an excel spreadsheet, and have a really nice result - nicer than the download options they tell you about.

The personal service - that I get live phone calls from real people who can take real action if I have problems with my actual banking (not the on-line service) far outweighs the things the system may be lacking.

My Experience

I use Chase Manhattan bank. I chose them because they have braille monthly statements. There ATM's are inaccessible. Their Web site is very difficult to use. I have managed to check my account balances, but cannot get any further than that.

AccessWorld, AFB's technology publication, will feature a major article on ATM accessibility in July.

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