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Co-operative Bank launches talking ATMs

The Co-operative bank has followed in the footsteps of Barclays, by installing talking cash machines on the streets of the UK. The machines will be aimed at helping blind and partially sighted consumers operate the ATMs, by providing an automated service as well as clearer, high resolution screens.

400 of the units have initially been installed by The Co-operative, while a further 2000 are expected over the next 18-24 months.

The service will not be limited to Co-op customers, and the speech option can be enabled by plugging a pair of headphones into the ATM. Comments made by head of payments at the Co-operative Bank, David Fawell, explain the move: “We are committed to implementing talking and high contrast services on our cash machines.

“We have started to roll out and by the end of 2013 we will have 1000 of our ATMs enabled to talk”

The move has struck a chord with the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), which has issued its support for the scheme. The Co-operative has also received support from customers, with Rob Ellis from Colchester commenting: “I feel it is essential for banks to assist their blind or partially sighted customers. Conveniently there is one 400 yards from my house and it has made such a difference”.

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