Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Banking made accessible – talking ATMs

Audio-enabled ATMs (cash machines) offer independent use of banking services for blind and partially sighted persons. The success of Barclays’ Talking ATMs has led to the development of other accessible services, aspiring to make banking accessible to all.

“Talking ATMs represented the first big step on our journey to become the most accessible bank and it continues to be a source of inspiration.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Barclays Talking ATMs
Organisation:Barclays Bank PLC
of origin
United Kingdom
Beneficiaries targeted Persons with visual impairments
Approach/ model/ solution:Talking ATMs and other accessible services


  • Number of audio-enabled ATMs in the UK increased from less than 70 to over 3,500 in one year (2012)
  • There are approx. 3 million visually impaired people in the UK, of whom c. 750,000 hold an account with Barclays
  • Over 1,500 people have ordered a high visibility debit card since its launch in January 2013


Research commissioned by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in 2011 confirmed that only 11 per cent of blind and partially sighted people in the UK can use cash machines unaided, compared to 80 per cent of sighted users.


Talking ATMs not only provide ease-of-use for visually impaired users; people with dyslexia, people who are illiterate, and people who can understand spoken but not written English may also benefit from this technology. The success of Talking ATMs has led Barclays to develop other accessible services, amongst other things high visibility debit cards and sign language interpretation via webcam. Barclays will shortly be launching mobile instant messaging, which may benefit those who are unable to use Telephone Banking.


By the end of 2012, Barclays had rolled out audio capability at over 3,500 cash machines, making ATMs accessible to approximately 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK. Barclays’ industry-leading commitment to providing audio-enabled ATMs has encouraged other major UK banks and ATM providers to announce their intention to follow suit. Barclays’ accessibility programme continues to build in scope and momentum, as new opportunities are identified to provide improved access for customers and colleagues.

240_Talking ATM_Barclays Bank_Foto RosemaryAudio-enabled ATMs (cash machines) offer independent use of banking services for blind and partially sighted persons. (photo: Barclays Bank)


Kathryn Townsend
Barclays Bank Plc
One Churchill Place, London
E14 5HP, UK | +44 7827 807738


Top marks from:
• EU voters

Nominated by: Barclays Bank