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Spain’s Banco Santander adapts 3,000 ATMs for customers with vision disabilities

Man`s hand takes out cash euros from Santander Bank in Madrid, Spain
Photo: Dreamstime

Banco Santander has integrated a Voice Guidance system into 3,000 ATMs, making them user-friendly for people with vision disabilities.

According to Vicente Pantoja, Cash Solutions digital director of Santander Spain, “This system incorporates voice guidance that allows visually impaired users to withdraw money from our ATMs with a very comfortable and simple experience. It is a very important first step in a set of actions that we are working on so that the most common operations can be carried out by these users.”

The conversion of almost 50% of Spain’s ATMs was facilitated in partnership with processing services companies Redsys and the ONCE.

Santander customers can search for the locations of these voice-guided bank machines through the ATM search engines in the App and its online banking. In addition, ONCE will pass on the information to its members.

This technological advancement signifies a huge step in Banco Santander’s plan to eliminate accessibility barriers for people with physical or sensory disabilities in all the countries in which it operates. As well as in its banking strategy in terms of inclusion – ensuring all people have access to basic financial services – in line with the 10th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.

The financial institution entity is also making a conscious effort to adapt its new offices to meet the needs of its clients with disabilities, ensuring that physical spaces are more accessible and inclusive. For example, in Spain and Portugal, Banco Santander takes into account universal design principles – magnetic loops, floor guides, adapted toilets, etc. – when designing its Smart Red and Work Cafes branches.

Banco Santander has made many accessible adaptations in several countries: in Brazil, 95% of its ATMs include Braille; in Argentina, 1,286 ATMs have been converted; in Portugal, more than 2,000 ATMs use voice commands and, in Poland there are 1,300 ATMs with voice guidance and Braille labeling.

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