The new Banking Accessibility Principles

By Trish McGinness, Manager Compliance at AusPayNet – 4 December 2018

On Friday 30 November 2018, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) announced the launch of new accessibility principles for the banking industry.

The new principles, ‘Every Customer Counts: Accessibility Principles for Banking Services’, provide the banking industry with principles to ensure accessible banking for the “four million Australians living with disability”.1

The extensive review, the first in almost 15 years, was led by Dr Graeme Innes AM and supported by an Accessibility Working Group of bank representatives, with input from both technical experts and disability stakeholder groups.

The Accessibility Principles, based on the ‘7 Principles of Universal Design’, cover the full range of banking services and include:

  • Digital channels (websites and mobile banking)
  • Device design and use
  • Telephone services
  • Voice activated services or AI
  • Specific areas related to customer authentication

A front-footed approach to advancements in electronic payment systems

The review is timely in light of the recent rapid changes in technology at point-of-sale. Section 2.4 of the new principles details the accessibility principles for point-of-sale and ATMs.

Off the back of the new Accessibility Principles, we are currently working to produce more detailed Accessibility Guidelines for point-of-sale devices to assist in the design, procurement, installation and usage of devices using touchscreen technology. The guidelines are scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2019.

We hope to ensure that Australia leads the world in securing accessibility at point-of-sale and ATMs;  a position strengthened by the existence of both the ABA’s Accessibility Principles and our Accessibility Guidelines for point-of-sale and ATMs.

Informing stakeholders about the new Principles and Guidelines

We will continue to liaise with vendors, via our ongoing industry consultations and through our website, on the new Guidelines, and more broadly on the requirements set out in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). The Act, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of disability specifically references financial services, for example through websites, telephones, ATMs and point-of-sale devices.

The ABA will review the Accessibility Principles every two years, to keep up with advancements in technology.

Please get in touch if you would like more information on our work on the Accessibility Guidelines for point-of-sale devices.

1 Australian Banking Association, 'Banking products to be designed with accessibility in mind', 30 November 2018.