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The award-winning app that was first launched in 2011 continues to evolve to meet the needs of customers, as IBOS members Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank make the app more accessible for visually impaired customers.

RBS invited the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to test the apps, and noted specific changes that should be made in order for the app to be more accessible for customers who are visually impaired. As RBS couldn’t mimic how it thought a visually impaired person would interact with the technology, it had to learn a whole new way of using the device.

For example, when a visually impaired person interacts with their phone, they use VoiceOver on the iPhone or TalkBack on Android. The software, which is on everybody’s phone by default, reads out what it sees on the screen, and you can interact by swiping left or right to hear something else. The banking app already worked with these before the changes, however not very well.

Instead of reading the important information, the technology would pick up every single word on the page. When a visually impaired person wanted to quickly get their balance, they would have to swipe past every word on the screen, which would include their name, sort code, account number and other information, first.

Now, the app is formatted so it will read out their name and balance first. It’s a small, but a significant, change for the customer because it means they can check their balance much faster.

Other developments include making sure the technology picked up the words in order, and changing the font so it was in upper and lower case, not just capitals, as research proves this is easier to read.

Read the press release, via RBS, here.