Bank launches first voice-guided ATM service for visually impaired persons

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Bank of Abyssinia (BOA) has introduced nation’s first voice-guided Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) service for the visually impaired people on Thursday.

The official launching of the technology has been announced at The Ethiopian National Association of the Blind (ENAB) headquarter at Sidist Kilo area.

People who are visually impaired have a difficulty to withdraw their money from banks due to the absence of a suitable mechanism for them. But now, they can withdraw cash from 20 branches of Bank of Abyssinia ATM machines without help.

Voice instructions are currently provided in Amharic, Afaan oromoo, English and Tigrigna languages.

The user simply has to plug his or her earphones intothe ATM’s audiojack to hear the instructions andconduct financial transactions including withdrawing cash or checking the balance.

“We are planning to expand the service across more than 1,000 ATMs,” said Sosina Mengesha, Digital Banking Officer at BOA, adding, “We believe that the new service our Bank launched will bring a relief to the visually impaired who have suffered most due to the absence of it.” 

Fikadu Tsega, a Representative from ENAB extended his gratitude to BOA for launching the service. He also conducted an ATM transaction demo.

Furthermore, BOA provided a support of Desktop computers amounting 500,000 Birr and earphones, which will be used in ATM transactions to representatives ENAB.

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