LAST UPDATE: 22/10/2021
Despite greater social inclusion of blind people today, there’s still a long way to go. At Santander, we’re working to do more with braille keypads and audio guides at our ATMs in the lion’s share of our geographies.
Our commitment to being a more responsible and inclusive bank inspires everything we do. Thus, we’ve adapted more of our ATMs to include braille on accept, delete, cancel and number keys branches in many of our geographies; they’ve also been equipped with audio guides.
We’ve added tactile paving to most of our branches to make it easier for visually-impaired people to move around.
Video caption: Braille keypad on Banco Santander ATM
Braille in our geographies
In Brazil, Santander has around 13,000 ATMs, including more than 12,700 that the visually impaired can use after a quick registration process. All our branches are fitted out to receive customers with visual disabilities and offer hearing aids to the hard of hearing.
Similarly, Santander's ATMs in the UK are designed with blind and partially-sighted customers in mind and also equipped with headsets developed by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
Santander Argentina has adapted the keypads on its 1,300 ATMs, and Santander Bank Polska (in Poland) has installed a voice service on 90% of its ATM network to guide visually impaired people. That way, anyone needing help has the option to change their PIN, activate a credit card or withdraw cash in their native language.
Also in Poland, we've introduced new card features like a groove on the left hand side, high contrast colours and tactile marks on the front for easier use at ATMs. Our machines enhance users’ security and comfort with the options of turning off the screen while carrying out transactions using headphones; or putting the screen in dark mode. Branches also offer magnifying glasses and signature screens. Furthermore, we’ve adapted online banking and mobile platforms, and created easy-to-access, audio-recorded documents and PDFs with invisible internal tags. This year, we also opened a pilot branch in Wrocław that uses a sound and touch system, making it easier for customers to find their way around.
In Germany, Santander Consumer Finance’s ATMs have 3D touch functions using braille, while those in Spain have embossed keys for easy identification. We plan to launch voice-guided cash withdrawals in Q1 2021.
At Santander Uruguay, we're adapting all our ATMs to the Banred network to integrate braille and audio systems. Our US-based ATMs have a sticker providing information in braille on how to use the voice guide; customers can also turn off the screens for privacy when using it.
In Chile, we’re planning to adapt ATMs for the visually impaired, while at Santander Mexico several models already have a braille keypad. Over in Portugal, more than 2,000 Santander ATMs use voice commands, with braille mode activated at the touch of a button.
Inclusion in sport through our sponsorships
As well as striving to make banking more accessible for blind people, we’re promoting their inclusion in the world of sport to achieve a positive impact on society through sponsorships. Thanks to them, we’ve created Fieeld, a system that uses technology to enable blind football fans to feel what‘s going on in a game like never before. They can follow the ball using a pointer that moves around the device. A system reads and extracts information on the ball from images as the match is being filmed, and then sends the data to the device. The lines of the pitch are embossed on a board, making them easily recognizable when touched.
The Fieeld device has won a plethora of awards, including Silver in the Innovation category at the Clio Awards, Gold in the LATAM Internationalization category at the Premios Nacionales de Marketing (National Marketing Awards) and two Gold awards for creative data (best experience) and product innovation at the El Ojo de Iberoamérica awards.
Santander is a global company that works towards a more inclusive society with equal opportunity in all our geographies, no matter what.