Providing access to financial services is an ongoing challenge for financial institutions This is especially true when customers are visually impaired. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is being sued by a blind woman over their touchscreen-only POS terminal It creates a very troubling scenario which often involves sharing her PIN with shop staff to conduct operations.
A touchscreen POS device is a great tool for retailers and consumers. It creates a more unified shopping experience, which is always beneficial. However, not all users will benefit from these solutions. People with a visual handicap, for example, will often struggle to deal with touchscreen-only solutions. It adds a lot of unnecessary friction which can easily be avoided.
A Big Problem for Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Commonwealth Bank of Australia faces a big problem in this regard. Their new lawsuit revolves around these touchscreen-only POS terminals. A blind woman filed the official complaint because the service is “inaccessible”. She has to rely on shop staff to complete payments, which is never an acceptable solution. Especially not when this includes sharing the PIN to her payment card.
Any purchase of AU$100 or more requires a PIN code to complete, as far as these terminals are concerned. There is no tactile keypad, which is a big problem for over 350,000 blind and visually impaired residents. As such, customers are at risk of sharing their PIN codes to retail staffers. It is an unacceptable situation for any bank. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has outright refused to modify these machines for more than two years now. Why that is exactly the case, remains to be seen.
According to Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the terminals have an “accessibility solution”. More specifically, users can listen to instructions to enter their PIN code. It is not a perfect solution by any means and does not befit a modern bank in this day and age. Rest assured this lawsuit will get a lot of attention for many different reasons. Whether or not it will lead to actual changes, however, remains to be seen.
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