March 31, 2010

Bank of America today announced that all its U.S. ATMs have been equipped with voice-enabled technology. Visually impaired customers can now access more than 18,000 Bank of America ATMs.

Talking ATMs provide audible instructions in English or Spanish to people who cannot view information on an ATM screen. These machines make it easier for people with visual impairments to withdraw cash, deposit money and perform other ATM transactions. The ATMs have audio jacks that deliver spoken instructions privately through standard headsets to protect the security of users who are blind or have low vision.

"Bank of America has long been a leader in understanding the needs of blind and low-vision banking customers," said Jeff Thom, president of the California Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the Arlington, Virginia-based American Council of the Blind, in a statement. "From talking ATMs, to accessible online banking, to Braille bank statements, we are proud to have partnered with Bank of America for almost 15 years."

Bank of America says it was the first bank to make its Web site and online banking conform to Web accessibility standards.

The bank also says it was the first major bank to equip all of its deposit-accepting ATMs throughout the country with deposit imaging technology. This technology is now available at 13,800 Bank of America ATMs. Deposit Image ATMs allow customers to feed checks and cash directly into the ATM slot, eliminating the need to fill out deposit slips and stuff envelopes. For cash deposits, customers can deposit up to 40 bills at a time and receive immediate credit if the transaction is made on a business day by 8 p.m.

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