By Maximilian Clarke

Barclays Bank are to trial talking ATMs to make their services more accessible to blind people.

Refurbished ATMs offering audio facilities will be available towards the end of next year, enabling customers in need to carry out their transactions by plugging their headphones into an audio jack, and listening to the options being read out.

“Our announcement will mean blind and partially sighted people will have greater access and choice when using ATMs providing increased independence and privacy,” said Elaine Draper, Head of Frontline Services, Retail Operations, Barclays UK Retail and Business Banking.

“We will be speech enabling our cash machines towards the end of next year and see this as an important part of our financial inclusion commitments.”

Barclays announcement supports the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s Make Money Talk campaign, which aims to make the UK’s ATM network accessible to the nearly 400,000 registered blind and partially sighted people in the country.

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