The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for the benefit of persons with disabilities, has made it mandatory for banks to install talking ATMs with Braille keypads.

“It has come to our notice that some of the banks have not made at least one-third of the new ATMs installed as talking ATMs with Braille keypads as advised (earlier). It is, therefore, reiterated that banks should make all new ATMs installed from July 1, 2014, as talking ATMs with Braille keypads,” the RBI said in a notification on Wednesday.

“Banks should lay down a road map for converting all existing ATMs as talking ATMs with Braille keypads and the same may be reviewed from time to time by the Customer Service Committee of the Board,” the RBI said.

To facilitate easy access to bank branches and ATMs by persons with disabilities, the RBI has asked banks to take necessary steps to provide all existing ATMs / future ATMs with ramps.

“Care may also be taken to make arrangements in such a way that the height of the ATMs do not create an impediment in their use by wheel-chair users. However, in cases where it is impracticable to provide such ramp facilities, whether permanently fixed to earth or otherwise, this requirement may be dispensed with, for reasons recorded and displayed in branches or ATMs concerned,” the RBI said.

Banks have also been asked to take appropriate steps, including providing ramps at the entrance of the bank branches, wherever feasible.

“In addition to the above, magnifying glasses should be provided in all bank branches for the use of persons with low vision, wherever they require for carrying out banking transactions with ease. The branches should display at a prominent place notice about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for persons with disabilities,” the RBI notification added.

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