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Digital Accessibility for banking & finance

It’s next to impossible to function in a modern society without using some form of banking service. From paying for goods and services to getting paid for work, everyone should have equal access to banking and financial services they can trust and rely on.

Reliability is paramount. In an emergency, we need to be completely certain that we can access funds, get credit, make and receive payments, and manage our finances efficiently. This hasn’t always been the case for people with disabilities.

Today, especially for people 45 and under, the majority of banking and other financial services happen online. A survey conducted by Chase revealed that the majority of Americans use digital banking services, with 4 in 5 of its customers preferring to manage their finances digitally. The bank also found that 89% of its customers and 85% of non-Chase customers believe they save time by managing their finances online.

But not everyone can use a mobile app or website equally.

With 1 in 5 Americans having some form of disability, it’s important to consider if satisfaction could be even higher if financial services were more widely accessible to those with visual impairments, dyslexia, and many other temporary and permanent disabilities. Leaving out such a large portion of Americans by allowing a website to remain inaccessible is no longer an option.

What Effect Does Digital Accessibility Have on Finance?

Today, everyone needs quick and easy access to a bank account as well as other kinds of financial services. But they’re not always built for everyone. For example, some people with neurological impairments may feel overwhelmed when a mobile app or website bombards them with ads, offers and promotions. And for the blind, many banking services simply don’t offer accommodations. Many of these issues are due to UI/UX failures, but it also happens when disabled users are not kept in mind throughout the design process.

A study from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated that out of 162 people who had difficulty seeing, 3 out of 5 had experienced being unable to use a digital financial service due to an accessibility issue. Because of this, three-quarters of the people surveyed had turned to a sighted person for help. This not only raises numerous privacy issues for their personal finances, but could potentially leave many people open to fraud.

Financial websites and apps must be secure and safe, but security and digital accessibility are not mutually exclusive. While financial websites and apps continue to struggle with digital accessibility, it’s becoming easier to make your website accessible and accommodate everyone without having to undergo a full redevelopment.

Digital Accessibility Doesn’t Need to Be Hard, But It Is Necessary

Digital accessibility is now easier to achieve than ever. For example, the AI-Powered Digital Accessibility Solution from UserWay can quickly add accessibility features to a website, improving usability for many users. The ability to zoom in on text and increase contrast is not only important for people with visual disabilities, but can be a critical boost for tired users, and in bright light. And accessibility options can be a make or break for neurodivergent users.

It’s not just about making your website more accomodating. Digital accessibility can improve your bottom line as well. It makes your services more attractive to a wider range of people, and it improves your website’s SEO rankings, both of which can lead to more sales. Better accessibility also increases your customers’ ability to use self-service options instead of asking for help, reducing the pressure on call centers and instant chat.

Becoming digitally accessible also means avoiding the legal risks of not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars defending your organization in lawsuits. This has happened before with global banks and other financial institutions, including Bank of America and Charles Schwab. To avoid litigation, it’s best to get your website compliant as soon as possible, taking the next steps on your accessibility journey. It’s not just the smartest choice, it’s the right thing to do.