BBVA has launched the new mobile application which will allow blind people with physical or intellectual disabilities to operate in all the bank’s ATMs, a network that adds more of 6,300. ILUNION Technology and Accessibility collaborated with the bank to ensure app’s accessibility.
The app’s technology geo-locates nearest ATMs, finds optimal routes for the user and even links the customer’s mobile with the ATM, facilitating the provision of cash through voice instructions on the phone. Once select the ATM and the amount of withdrawal, the application shows the fastest route through Google maps (both on foot and by public transport).
Users can then locate the ATM spatially thanks to acoustic signals which emit a ‘beepcon’ located in the cashier. (Beepcon is an intelligent beacon designed by ILUNION Technology and Accessibility to help blind and visually impaired people locate nearby objects). After entering the card, the ATM connects with the mobile and completes operations previously inputted into the smartphone.
A year in development, this new application is a collaboration between ILUNION Technology and Accessibility and the company GFT (which created the mobile accessibility and usability software). Over 3 months, thirty people from all over Spain participated in the pilot program to test the app in action.
“This new pioneering service in Spain is another step towards personal autonomy for blind people, as they can now access cash without external help. The BVVA has a multidisciplinary working group which is always seeking innovative solutions to improve the lives of customers and, in this case, those with disabilities” said Luis Javier Blas, director of Engineering BBVA Spain. In this way, “people with disabilities can now use any BBVA ATM at their convenience.”
Managing director of ILUNION Technology and Accessibility Ana Uruñuela points out that “thinking about accessibility when offering products and services is not just a social plus for the company, but also offers a competitive advantage. But to be effective, binomial technology and accessibility must be taken into account from the beginning of a product’s design.” He also adds that “accessible technology like this not only benefits people with disabilities but also other groups, such as the elderly.”
This collaboration extends the agreement which BBVA has with the ILUNION Group. And recently, the bank and the ONCE Foundation signed a collaboration agreement to promote universal accessibility and design in the digital channels developed by the bank.