And, now . . . we have the talking bank!

At the Halifax, Commercial Street, are customer adviser Holly Midgley and branch manager Scott Westworth
At the Halifax, Commercial Street, are customer adviser Holly Midgley and branch manager Scott Westworth

Lloyds Banking Group has this week started introducing Talking ATMs to make it easier for blind and partially sighted customers to withdraw cash and check balances.

They are being put into Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches and there will be nearly 1,300 talking ATMs by the end of this year.

The Group has worked with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to ensure that the machines serve the needs of those who are visually impaired.

The talking ATMs are fitted with an audio jack socket and a volume control button and can “talk” to customers through audio instructions to help them complete their transactions.

The following are supported by audio instructions: cash with receipt, cash only, cash with on screen balance (actual balance is not provided), on-screen and audio balance (actual balance is provided), printed balance, PIN services, mini statement, mobile phone top-up.

Customers with literacy issues and dyslexia will also benefit from the changes.

Graeme Whippy, Senior Disability Manager at Lloyds Banking Group said the bank looked forward to hearing customers’ feedback.

The Lloyds Banking Group is the latest financial provider to offer talking ATMs.

Two years ago the RNIB kicked off its “Make Money Talk” campaign to make Britain’s cash machines accessible to blind and partially sighted people and banks have responded favourably.

The charity said a lack of a simple audio alternative to the display screen posed a major problem for those with eyesight problems.

And, it amounted to financial exclusion as those affected had to make alternative arrangements.