Blind groups slam CBA for inaccessible EFTPOS terminals
Disability advocates urge CBA to cease the distribution of its Albert touchscreen EFTPOS terminals.
Blind Citizens Australia, Australia's national representative voice for those who are blind or vision impaired, is strongly criticising the CBA for the roll out of its Albert EFTPOS terminals across the country. The group says the new touchscreen terminals are inaccessible for blind and vision impaired Australians who cannot see the screen and therefore cannot enter their pin number without assistance.
As of April this year, CBA had already rolled out 75,000 of these touchscreen EFTPOS terminals to retailers across the country including cafes, restaurants and shops. CBA is the only Australian bank to have released an EFTPOS terminal that is only accessible via touchscreen, without a telephone-style keypad. The bank has announced its plans to continue rolling more of these out each week.
Ironically, the bank has stated its goal of becoming the most accessible bank in the country via its Access and Inclusion Plan 2017-2020. "We’re committed to improving access to technology for our customers and our employees with disability. New products and services are being designed and produced using global accessibility standards and best practice design," CBA's plan read.
However, Blind Citizens Australia is calling out the bank to cease distribution of its new Albert touchscreen EFTPOS terminals if it wishes to be the most accessible bank.
"You can't aspire to be the most accessible bank in the country while continuing to create thousands of retail outlets which exclude people who are blind or vision impaired," said executive officer of Blind Citizens Australia, Emma Bennison.
"You may have a great smartphone banking app, and talking ATMs, but until your Albert EFTPOS machine can be used quickly and independently by people such as me who cannot see the touchscreen, you have not achieved access to your services for all Australians."
"People who are blind are being asked to divulge their pin number to a retail staff member to make a payment. This is totally unacceptable, no doubt breaches the terms of their credit card agreement and is probably against the law. I cannot complete transactions which other Australians make ten or twenty times a day," she said.
"We have raised this issue with the bank, and they are engaging with us. But in the meantime, our members are finding that each week, many more shops and restaurants in their local communities are no longer accessible to them. This exclusion of thousands of people who are blind or vision impaired is simply unacceptable conduct from one of our largest corporate citizens."