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NCR’s tactile strip and text-to-speech technology boost financial inclusion for people with sight loss

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in omni-channel solutions, today announced that the Cx110, its touchscreen-only ATM, is the first in the world to be given ‘Approved Gold’ status by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), highlighting the company’s ongoing commitment to financial inclusion.

Financial inclusion has long been a focus area for NCR, the company that produced the first talking ATMs for the blind in 1997. With the mass adoption of touchscreens, tactile button interfaces are diminishing. So NCR is working closely with RNIB to test ideas and ways in which innovative technology can boost financial inclusion.

As a result of this cooperation, NCR has developed a tactile feature, located immediately beneath the ATM touchscreen, that allows blind or partially sighted users to intuitively interact with the machines. In addition, NCR used a text-to-speech technology that provides guidance to users via headphones. This is an extension of the tried and tested approach that enables more nuanced instructions based on the current range of talking ATMs. The new touchscreen-only ATM also allows users to adjust the speed and volume of the audio guidance, improving their overall experience.

Achieving the ‘Approved Gold’ status from RNIB requires rigorous testing by accessibility experts and a user evaluation with blind and partially sighted people. The award provides confidence that the new ATM can be used easily and effectively by the more than two million people in the UK living with sight loss, with initial training and support.

Steve Tyler, RNIB’s Head of Solutions, Strategy and Planning, said, “Helping people living with sight loss to remain independent and carry out everyday tasks with confidence is at the heart of what we do. By working with companies like NCR to offer practical solutions, such as the tactile features on these new touchscreen-only ATMs, we hope to empower blind and partially sighted people so they can experience the same freedom as everyone else and retain their financial independence.”

Adam Crighton, Vice President Hardware Engineering at NCR and head of the NCR Design Center in Dundee, added, “We are committed to using our innovation and technology to address the significant global challenge of the nearly two billion people worldwide who are underbanked. This accreditation is the result of our ongoing partnership with RNIB, whose expertise in supporting those with sight loss has been crucial in our research and development process.”

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