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Welcome Everyone – Why accessibility is critical to the success of digital banking services

Banks and Credit Unions are well versed in providing accommodations for customers with disabilities including accessible counter heights, door widths, braille at ATMs, and more. However, the increasing demand for digital banking has created a new set of challenges to ensure financial services are accessible for everyone.

Does your website or mobile app meet current or anticipated legal requirements and accommodate all of your current or prospective customers? What does an accessible website need to ensure the majority of customers living with a disability – an astounding one in four Americans or 61 million adults – can use your services?

Digital Accessibility is Valuable

The 26% of Americans living with disabilities are a significant market of potential customers representing more than $500 billion in disposable income according to the American Institutes for Research. Yet, the US Department of Commerce documented visually impaired users to abandoning two-thirds of online transactions due to lack of accessibility. Accessible websites provide a welcoming portal for customers with disabilities, empower financial transactions and create happy, loyal customers.

The flip side of winning new customers is the risks associated with failing to meet digital accessibility requirements. Litigation costs for a single web accessibility complaint average $350,000 in defendant expenses according to Corporate Compliance Insights. 

Accessibility Regulations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III requires banks and credit unions to treat all customers equally, and the Section 508 refresh in 2017 extended these accessibility obligations to digital platforms.  

Digital banking accessibility requirements in the U.S. are based on the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative, which established best practices and created detailed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Canada’s requirements are slightly different and evolving. Based on the Accessible Canada Act (ACA), the regulations support their commitment to achieve a “barrier-free” Canada by 2040.

Digital Accessibility for All

How can you find out if your customer-facing applications meet accessibility requirements and empower all current and potential customers to conduct business with your bank or credit union?

The first step is an accessibility audit to determine if your website, online portal, and mobile app meet WCAG 2.0, Level AA standards. If you’re currently upgrading your digital banking platform, an accessibility audit is key to avoiding costly post-launch rework.

Accutive’s thorough accessibility audit provides detailed findings and remediation recommendations based on the applicable standard. Then, we assist clients with necessary updates to ensure all customer-facing digital banking applications are accessible and compliant.

Accessibility solutions are part of Accutive’s mission to help financial services clients succeed in the digital age. We’re empowering banks and credit unions in the U.S. and Canada to provide user-friendly digital banking for everyone.

Find out more about how and why you need to provide accessible digital services in our topic brief: Access for All

 

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