Accessible, Inclusive Banking for a Digital Age

For most of us, an action such as a contactless payment is a part of everyday life. However, a significant proportion of the population still face barriers around such actions.

With this in mind, EY and UK Finance created a series of forums to explore the accessibility barriers that exist within the banking and financial services industry. At its heart, the series is focused on improving accessibility within the sector.

In many cases, groups with accessibility needs are often overlooked for two reasons:

  1. The additional resources required to adapt products and services to meet accessibility requirements
  2. A lack of knowledge around what accessible products and services look like by those involved in product design and implementation stages

To inform these forums we sought the support five charities to understand lived experiences: Royal National Institute of Blind People, Royal National Institute for Deaf People, Whizz-Kidz, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute and the Business Disability Forum.

The first forum brought together 19 attendees from across the banking industry, from the big banks through to emerging FinTechs. Over the course of the day, attendees heard directly from the charities involved, providing a chance to ask questions and explore what the charities believe a good outcome is for each of the communities they represent.

Reflecting on the two barriers to change, the consensus was that more needed to be done to bring in those with the knowledge required at an earlier stage and at regular checkpoints along with a  product development roadmap to ensure the products and services are inclusive of all accessibilities.

The ability to improve everyday life for consumers is not an area which should be overlooked in the interest of competition, and industry collaboration to prioritise accessibility provides benefits to both banks and customers.

Based on the conversations and insights from the forum, a ‘Themes’ document has been created highlighting the below six focus areas to drive change:

  1. Dialogue Builds Success
  2. Design for Inclusion First
  3. Innovation Enables Independence
  4. Customer-Centric Channels are Key
  5. Raising Awareness Empowers People to Make Informed Choices
  6. Being ‘Accessible’ is Not a Fixed State

A link to the Accessible Banking Outcomes Forum document can be found here.

Following the positive feedback from the first forum and the desire from attendees and charities to continue to drive change, the second in our three-part series is to be hosted on 12 September 2023. Registration is now open to new joiners - if you would like to attend, please contact Nina M Driscoll: 

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