Accessibility, Member Exclusive

The Accessibility Playbook: How to make FIs accessible inside and out

  • There are more than 42.5 million differently-abled people in America, and firms need to think about how their products, work environments, digital and physical footprints need to evolve to serve this segment better. 
  • Dive into what strategies some of the biggest FIs are using to make their work environments, their customer touchpoints, and products more accessible.

Email a Friend

The Accessibility Playbook: How to make FIs accessible inside and out

Who is a bank really for? Most of us would like this answer to be: everyone. But sometimes accessibility to banks as employers and as banking providers gets skewed away from those who are differently abled.

This is thankfully changing, as many Wall Street and community banks are realigning their policies and taking mindful action to build a more inclusive customer-facing and employee-facing institution.

Here is how some of the biggest firms are building for accessibility:

Build for differently-abled customers

1. Shift accessibility left: Making a digital product or service accessible after it’s already been developed is harder than building it accessible from the start. Capital One’s journey to one of the most accessible banking apps is one that started from this realization. Since there is overlap between SEO and accessibility requirements, the firm evolved its SEO team into its accessibility team. Raising awareness internally about how shifting accessibility left in the development process can introduce efficiencies is also important. In Capital One’s case, a significant part of the firm’s Senior Director of Digital Accessibility Mark Penicook’s time and effort goes into ensuring that teams across the bank understand the work they are doing, and how it impacts customers’ and the employees’ workflow.

2. Leverage tech and build subject matter expertise: Last year, Chase won an unsolicited James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Accessibility Award by the American Council of the Blind. The bank has been able to realize such results on the accessibility of its app because it has dedicated subject matter experts that guide the development process as well as team-based trainers that work with testers, designers and developers. The bank’s design process also enables designers to markup their work with the accessibility functionalities and features that need to be worked in by developers – Chase calls this tech “green lines” according to James Green, Head of Digital Accessibility at Chase. This markup software allows two separate teams to stay on the same page when building a product  and ensures that developers don’t unknowingly make any changes to things like alternative text and other features that would compromise the overall accessibility of the product.

3. Automate and work with accessibility software providers: A time-consuming chunk of the accessible software development cycle is testing. For example, before Capital One started automating its accessibility testing processes, the firm would spend 3 to 4 weeks testing out its digital footprint for issues, said Penicook. To make this process more efficient the firm’s venture capital arm invested in accessibility software provider Evinced, and has been able to bring its testing time down to a few hours. Other major banks and FIs also leverage the expertise of accessibility providers to build more accessible products and test for issues. For example, US Bank and PNC both work with Deque Systems, and the money transfer company Payoneer works with UserWay.

_____________________________________________________________________ subscription wall for TS Pro

0 comments on “The Accessibility Playbook: How to make FIs accessible inside and out”

10-Q, Member Exclusive

JPM’s solid Q2 performance is followed by modifications to its card transaction policy

  • JPM's second-quarter earnings report from the Friday before last was followed by new changes to its card payment policy last week.
  • This strategy may be driven by the bank’s expectation of upcoming credit losses, aiming to reduce defaults by guiding customers toward its own financial products.
Sara Khairi | July 22, 2024
10-Q, Member Exclusive

The end of free banking? 

  • JPM's Marianne Lake is cautioning that the bank may start charging for services that are currently free, such as checking accounts and wealth management tools.
  • Many interpret the announcement as a strategic power play at the intersection of politics and economics, effectively shifting the burden onto consumers.
Sara Khairi | July 15, 2024
10-Q, Member Exclusive

AI is a theme every week, but what made this week different?

  • With AI constantly in the conversation, we look at some of the recent developments in the field that have stood out this week.
  • Nubank acquires data intelligence firm Hyperplane and PayPal appoints a Walmart executive as CTO to enhance its AI capabilities. On the flip side, banking jobs could face increased vulnerability due to AI.
Sara Khairi | July 01, 2024
Member Exclusive, SMB Finance

How Relay, a Toronto-based neobank, is gaining ground in the US SMB market

  • What motivated Relay's Canadian founders to target the US market?
  • Co-founder & CEO Yoseph West shares about Relay's US SMB target market, growth strategies, and the challenges associated with serving this segment
Sara Khairi | June 27, 2024
10-Q, Member Exclusive

‘In health but not in sickness’: Wells Fargo might be having second thoughts about its partnership with Bilt

  • Wells Fargo and Bilt's partnership over the co-branded credit cards appears to be teetering on the brink of trouble.
  • The scenario is seemingly advantageous for the other two parties involved — Bilt and consumers — but less so for Wells Fargo, which naturally aimed to gain more than it stood to lose.
Sara Khairi | June 24, 2024
More Articles