The speaking ATMs at ZKB

Since mid-August, visually impaired people have been able to use the ATMs at the Zürcher Kantonalbank barrier-free. We were there at the video shoot.

It was one of those beautiful late summer afternoons in September, when a handful of people gathered in front of the ZKB branch at Prime Tower. Not primarily for financial reasons, as one might presume. The ZKB planned a video shoot with René Jaun, a blind man who had lost his sight completely at the age of 16. The reason for the shoot was the speaking ATMs, which have been in operation at the ZKB since the middle of August 2020, enabling visually impaired people to use the cash machines barrier-free. The machines have been newly equipped with speech software. This will allow visually impaired people to withdraw cash more easily. The “Talking ATM” guides people step by step through the functions, telling them when there is something they need to do. We were there at the video shoot and were able to look over the shoulder of the blind protagonist customer of the cash machine, from a safe social distance, of course.

First, he put on the regular set of headphones, inserted his card into the reader and listened to the computerised voice. This invited him to enter his PIN code and choose a service.

No sooner said than done, the machine spat out notes and the bank card. When asked whether this innovation would make his life easier, René Jaun replied grinning: “I have to hold myself back a little when it comes to praise, as in my opinion, visually impaired people being able to use cash machines barrier-free is long over-due.” The shoot itself was quickly in the bag.

According to Media Relations Manager Yannik Primus, the video will be used on the Intranet of the ZKB as well as externally.