BBVA today launched its new BBVA for Everyone app, available for both iOS and Android operating systems, which enables the blind and those with physical or mild mental disabilities to use the bank’s network of over 6,300 automatic teller machines (ATMs). This new tool will guide those with visual disabilities to the ATM of their choice and help them withdraw cash. BBVA is a pioneer in this type of mobile solutions, which complement the services already available for people with disabilities on the web and corporate apps.
According to the Spanish National Statistics Institute and Ilunion, the social business group of the ONCE organization for the blind and its Foundation, some 9% of the population has some form of disability. The figure rises to 15% if we include people with restrictions. BBVA is aware of the importance of accessibility and for that reason, its apps and corporate website are accessible. The BBVA for Everyone app complements these services and facilitates the use of ATMs, which are currently touch-operated and thus pose an obstacle for the blind. This new tool is being made available for all customers after over a year in development by BBVA, in collaboration with Ilunion Tecnología y Accesibilidad and a pilot group of more than 50 people with disabilities who tested it and took part in developing subsequent improvements.
Self-reliance is one of the mostly highly-rated issues for people with disabilities. “From now on, our customers with visual impairments can access the BBVA for Everyone app and order the amount of cash they need to withdraw from any of our ATMs. Once at the ATM, all they need to do is to key in their PIN and the machine will disburse the amount they requested in the app,” explained Luis Javier Blas, head of engineering at BBVA Spain. “It is an inclusive application that creates opportunities for everyone,” he emphasized.
Besides the blind, this technology will also be of benefit to people with physical or mild mental disabilities and for the elderly, who feel more secure being able to order the cash from a trusted place.
Over the next few weeks, enhancements will be added to the app. On the one hand, it will be possible for users to access the application using a fingerprint, a very secure, advanced biometric identification technique. Identification will also be possible through mobile Near Field Communication (NFC). This involves in having to introduce your bank card in the slot of the ATM, a task that can pose problems in the case of a number of disabilities.
A BBVA blind customer operating in a ATM with the app BBVA for Everyone.
An app that complements other services for the disabled
BBVA for Everyone is a solution based on a technology that for the first time allows a person with impairments to interact with ATMs. Once the user has ordered the cash through the app, the system displays the nearest machines. When the customer chooses the one that best suits him or her, the app can indicate the best route to follow to get to the ATM, whether by car, public transport or on foot.
The app guides the person along the way to the selected ATM. Once there, all that is required is for the user to identify himself and to key in his PIN. The machine then dispenses the amount of cash previously ordered by the customer.
This new application, along with all the services BBVA has made available to people with disabilities, represents a leap in the quality of the service. With the improved accessibility afforded by the BBVA app, anyone can avail themselves of such services such as checking their overall position, movements in their account or making transfers.
Digital strategy with tangible results
This new application, aimed at extending financial inclusion, comes on top of the whole range of the digital offer to BBVA’s customers. This digital focus, which allows anyone to choose the form in which they relate to the bank, bears tangible results, as one out of every three sales is done through digital channels.
Today, the bank has 4.1 million digital customers in Spain, of whom more than 44% are mobile phone customers.