Only 3% of ATMs Offer Voice-Activated Services|視障語音服務ATM 全台僅占3%


According to statistics, there are almost 30,000 ATMs in Taiwan. However, visually impaired groups say only 22 banks with a total of 808 locations have voice-activated services for the visually impaired. Furthermore, over one-third of these ATMs don't work when using these services due to malfunctioning earphone jacks, upside-down Braille guides and other reasons. Visually impaired people therefore are unable to withdraw money on their own and have to ask their friends and family for help, which leads to the exposure of their personal information and financial privacy.


This visually impaired person has been trying to withdraw money from the post office ATM for a good 10 minutes, starting the process over three times to no avail.
It doesn't work. I entered my password, but nothing is happening.

He has to continually turn his earphone jack and reinsert it to be able to hear the voice prompts. Another common problem is flat or even upside-down Braille guides on keypads. With all these issues, it can take visually impaired people ages to complete a single transaction.

(Voice-activated ATMs) aren't that different from regular ATMs, but (it takes us) three to five minutes longer to complete a transaction. If there is something wrong with the operating system or the earphone jack that affects sound output, it may take even longer.

There are 28,879 ATMs in Taiwan, but only 22 banks accounting for 808 ATMs, or 3 percent, offer voice-activated services for the visually impaired. In six months of ATM tests, visually impaired groups were unable to complete a transaction at over one-third of the voice-activated ATMs. Visually impaired consumers say they have to ask their friends and family for help if they can't withdraw funds, check their balance or change their PIN on their own. This means data security is an issue they deal with on a daily basis.

It makes our lives really difficult. For example, the person I ask for help finds out how much money I have and then asks me for a loan. It's difficult to say no, especially when they know how much money I have.

Visually impaired groups are calling on the government to consider their needs and give as much attention to barrier-free ATMs as it does to mobile payments and online banking.

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