After a 2010 update to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), financial institutions faced an onslaught of litigation over the accessibility of their ATMs. Over the past decade or so, as financial websites have essentially become extensions of brick-and-mortar locations, it’s become more important than ever to provide accessible online resources as well.

Now, as new financial technology moves on to the scene, it adds another layer to consider when crafting your bank’s overall accessibility strategy.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a common way to offer customers immediate assistance and have become an important element of online and mobile banking for many. Whatever chatbot you use on your site, it is up to you to make sure every visitor can access it and use it correctly.

First things first, make sure your chatbot system can be read by screen readers. It doesn’t help anyone if some visitors can’t even identify that a chat option is present. Along with that, make sure buttons are labeled correctly, color contrast is adequate, keyboard focus is managed properly, etc. In short, any accessibility standards that apply to the content and functionality of your website should also apply to the chatbot.

Peer-To-Peer Payment Integrations

It’s no surprise that mobile peer-to-peer transactions have exploded in the past few years. Many banks have integrated technologies directly into their online banking experience to help customers quickly and easily manage those interactions.

While many integrations may have already considered accessibility, remember you are responsible for any code you use on your website—even if originates from a third party. While such platforms may be out of your direct control, always consider the accessibility of any integrations prior to implementation. This will help you make sure you provide an inclusive experience for your customers (and avoid potential litigation).

Mobile Banking

A majority of Americans (58%) report using a mobile device to manage their bank account at least once a month (American Bankers Association). While you likely already know the importance of a responsive website that can be read on a variety of devices, lawsuits related to accessibility on mobile applications are also on the rise. It’s critical to take inclusive design into account during mobile app development so every customer can effectively manage their money with your mobile services.

Some major things to take into consideration include mechanisms to reverse certain submissions, opportunities to check data input errors, and voice input options.

As financial technology continues to develop, remember that an overall accessibility strategy (for both physical and online resources) is key to serving your customers and to avoiding potential legal issues.

To start, take a look at our guide to accessibility on financial websites and get started on a more accessible online presence.

For even more on how to maintain an accessible financial website, visit us at the Financial Brand Forum May 7-9 in Las Vegas!