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Make all new ATMs talking ones from July: RBI to banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked lenders to ensure automated teller machines (ATMs) installed from July 1 have a talking function and Braille keypads, to make banking services more accessible to persons with disabilities.

RBI also said magnifying glasses should also be provided at all bank branches for those with poor vision. Branches should display a notice at a prominent place about the availability of magnifying glasses and other such facilities. An RBI circular in April 2009 had advised banks to provide ramps at all ATMs, and ensure at least one-third of new ATMs be ones with talking function and Braille keypads.

While lenders have been told to take necessary steps to make all existing ATMs / future ATMs accessible to people with disabilities, the central bank said in cases where it is impracticable to provide ramps, whether permanently fixed to the earth or otherwise, this requirement may be dispensed with, for reasons recorded and displayed in branches or ATMs concerned.

RBI, saying banks haven’t followed the 2009 circular guidelines in installing one-third of all new ATMS with talking and Braille facilities, asked lenders to lay down a road map for converting all existing ATMs to talking ATMs with Braille keypads. This will be reviewed from time to time by the Customer Service Committee of the Board.

In addition, RBI has said magnifying glasses should also be provided at all bank branches for the use of persons with low vision, wherever they require for carrying out banking transactions with ease. The branches should display a notice at a prominent place about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for people with disabilities.

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