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By Stuart Blair, Workplace Product Manager, Texthelp

By 2024, it is estimated that over 3.6 billion people will use online and mobile banking. The pandemic has sped up today’s digital landscape as more people complete everyday tasks online. For that reason, companies must understand the importance of digital accessibility. A lack of website accessibility can cause major problems for many that often go unnoticed until it’s too late.

Sixty-three percent of U.S. citizens feel more inclined to try new digital banking applications since the pandemic. Banking websites and applications are vital resources that help people to make important personal and business financial decisions. A banking website should make it effortless for someone with a disability to manage their finances or access valuable information.

Accessibility in Digital Banking Is Critical

Every bank’s core values focus on doing the right thing. It is vital to continuously put people first, always thinking about how to best serve your customers. That needs to include those older customers as well as those with dyslexia, cognitive issues, reading comprehension challenges, and vision loss. Content needs to be easy to understand and access.

In the last year, there has been a major shift to digital banking. As part of this industry-wide movement, we need to ensure that every bank’s website meets the legal requirements set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines have been adopted by countries across the globe as a common measure for accessibility legislation. By following these guidelines, banks can better meet the needs of people with visual, auditory, speech, cognitive, and physical disabilities.

As we move towards a digital world, it is important to ensure no one is left behind. There are podcasts, books, and news sources available to learn how to make content more accessible, and numerous digital tools as well.

Inclusive Digital Banking Affects the Bottom Line

There are many benefits of creating an inclusive and accessible banking website. From a marketing standpoint, building an accessible digital experience is a good design by default. It allows all customers to understand the content, which affects the bottom line. Websites with accessible content help ensure customers don’t go somewhere else to get needed information or services.

There are also reputational benefits from being accessible and committed to social responsibility. More people will trust your brand if they find that the company is socially responsible. In fact, 62% of people prefer to buy from purpose-led brands.

Make Change Happen Now

Remember, it is likely more expensive to not address accessibility. Communicate to the senior leadership that it is more cost-effective to address this problem now rather than retroactively, as fines for non-compliance can be large. It can also damage your business’s reputation, causing financial loss, as customers feel that you aren’t inclusive.

There are areas of accessibility that many may not consider but can be a game-changer for your brand. Using dyslexia-friendly fonts, and creating content with closed captioning and transcripts for the visually impaired can make a big impact.

Making a Mark in Today’s ‘Digital by Default’ World

The banking industry should be a leader in digital accessibility. It is important for all banks, whether nationally known or locally owned, to be morally responsible to make their services available to all people. In a digital by default world, banks need to be champions of ensuring everyone has access to the financial products and services they need to live and thrive.

Author Bio:

Stuart Blair, Product Manager, Accessibility & Inclusion of Texthelp

With a background in driving digital inclusion, Stuart has a keen interest in removing barriers through the use of innovative and inclusive technology to provide equal access for everyone. Throughout Stuart’s career, he has worked to improve accessibility and inclusion in large government bodies, financial institutions, and multinational companies. He cares deeply about unlocking everyone’s full potential and believes technology is a great enabler.

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