Leumi Launches An Innovative And First-Of-Its-Kind Service For The Visually Impaired
A Dynamic Audio System In The Bank's ATM's
Unlike the old systems, which have been limited to preset menus and operations, the new system gives detailed personal information to customers at their request, allowing them to execute a wide range of transactions by themselves.
As part of the expansion of banking services accessible to customers with disabilities, an advanced innovative audio system was recently installed in Bank Leumi ATMs across the country, designed for the blind and visually impaired. The system is the most advanced of its kind in Israel, and is based on a dynamic TTS (Text to Speech) sound engine, which converts text to voice in real time.
Unlike older audio systems operating in other banks, which are based on fixed pre-recorded operating instructions and menus, the new system enables the visually impaired to hear all of the information that appears on the ATM screen, including specific and up-to-date data on their accounts. In addition, the system includes vocal instructions adapted for the visually impaired, allowing them sufficient time to carry out transactions.
The system is activated by plugging a standard headphone into a designated sochet in the ATM. Initially the system was installed in 90 ATMs throughout the country, and over the next year it will be installed at all branches of the bank.
Mr. Dan Yerushalmi, Head of Operations and Information Systems Division at Leumi, noted that "Leumi is one of the leading organizations in Israel in Corporate Social Responsibility, including in the area of accessibility. Accordingly, we are constantly working to improve the accessibility of our banking services to customers with special needs. Installing the advanced audio system in the bank’s ATMs is part of this approach".
The new service joins a series of services and adjustments carried out in the bank’s branches for the convenience of customers with physical disabilities, as well as visual, hearing and other disabilities. Among these services: accessible ATM machines and banking stations enabling disabled customers to complete all necessary banking transactions, internal elevators in branches with floors, wheelchair-lifts and ramps, a special tool called "check guide" which indicates to the visually-disabled exactly where to write on a check, and a system that eliminates background noises and improves sound quality of hearing aids. In addition, Leumi operates an online sign language banking service, and has made adjustments to its website adapted to the needs of the visually impaired, such as screen readers and text enlargement.