Following the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) instructions in September 2021, banks in the local market are working hard to make banking services and products more accessible for people with disabilities. This is also in line with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s directives to support this segment of society.
According to CBE, banks have made significant progress in improving the infrastructure, providing technological and digital solutions, hiring qualified professionals, and modifying internal policies and procedures to facilitate the access of people with disabilities to financial products and services.
Some examples of banks that have taken steps to serve this segment are saib, Suez Canal Bank, MIDBANK, aiBANK, EGBANK, Attijariwafa Bank, and the Industrial Development Bank.
These banks have implemented procedures that aim to enhance their services and meet the needs of this group and others in society. The procedures include structural changes, policy amendments, and other services.
saib implements integrated project
saib has completed an integrated project to make banking products and services more accessible for people with disabilities. The project is part of saib’s strategy for financial inclusion, which aims to improve its services and meet the needs of this group and others in society.
The project involves enhancing the infrastructure, changing internal policies, and providing other services.
Suez Canal Bank adjusts its ATMs for people with disabilities
Suez Canal Bank has also taken steps to make the banking experience easier for people with special needs.
The bank has equipped 10% of its branches with ramps, signals, equipment, and other modifications to ensure ease for this category of clients. It has also installed guidance signs and made the bathrooms more convenient.
The bank gives priority to this segment of its clients on the waiting lists inside the branches. The bank has also trained more than 100 customer service employees to use sign language and read the terms and conditions of the banking products and services to customers with disabilities.
Suez Canal Bank has also equipped and modified more than 25% of its ATMs with lighting and instructions to make it easier for people with special needs to use them. The bank has also allowed the use of stamps and fingerprints instead of signing all internal procedures.
MIDBANK trains employees to deal with customers with special needs
MIDBANK said that it has implemented several procedures to make its services and products more accessible for people with special needs.
Amr El-Garhy, Chairperson of the Bank, said that the bank operates within a strategy that aims to provide financial and banking services to all members of society, especially people with special needs, in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030.
Omnia Shaheen, Head of the Bank’s Retail Banking Sector, said that the bank has prepared and trained staff to use sign language and read the terms and conditions of the banking contracts for people with disabilities.
She added that the bank has built ramps in some branches, added speaking screens translated into sign language, and equipped its ATMs with numbers written in Braille method. She also said that MIDBANK updates its clients with special needs on their bank accounts via phone calls and accepts stamps and fingerprints as alternatives to signatures.
aiBANK launches first Braille debit and prepaid cards
aiBANK has introduced several new procedures and trained its staff to better serve clients with special needs and offer them suitable banking products.
One of the bank’s initiatives is launching the first debit and prepaid cards in Braille, in cooperation with Smart Digital Service. The bank also prints account opening forms in Braille. Moreover, the bank provides videos in large fonts to help clients with visual impairments read instructions and procedures.
The bank records audio and video banking transactions carried out by customers with disabilities. It also simplifies controls and procedures for home visits to these clients, if needed.
The bank has prepared the infrastructure for about 10% of its branches inside and outside Cairo to receive customers with special needs, including ramps, wheelchairs, and priority queues.
The bank also provides a one-stop-shop service in some of its branches. Furthermore, the bank has updated its policies and procedures to comply with CBE’s provisions related to people with disabilities, as well as its data to identify this category. The bank also accepts stamps and fingerprints as alternatives to signatures. aiBANK is also equipping its employees with the skills necessary to deal with clients with special needs.
EGBANK increases accessibility for special needs clients
EGBANK has also taken many steps to improve people with disabilities’ access to banking services and products.
EGBANK has increased the number of its branches that are equipped to receive customers with disabilities to over 40% of its total branches across the country, through logistical equipment such as ramps and display screens with special videos.
The bank also provides a one-stop-shop service in all its branches to help them carry out all their banking transactions within the same branch. In addition, 60% of the bank’s ATMs are equipped with braille options and voice services.
EGBANK is also keen to make banking services available to customers with mobility disabilities and the blind through home visits. Reservations are made easily and conveniently through the phone service center. Voice calls are made to these customers to review their transactions with them.
Attijariwafa Bank supports access of people with disabilities to its services
Attijariwafa Bank Egypt has continued its efforts for the second year in a row to make its services and products more accessible for clients with special needs. The bank has increased the number of branches available to customers with disabilities to 27% from 20% of the total number of bank branches. The number of ATMs available to customers with disabilities has increased from 17% to 41%, of which 26% are machines equipped with braille for people with visual impairments. 21% of the machines have ramps for wheelchair access.
The bank also provides at least two employees trained in sign language in the branches designated to receive customers with hearing disabilities, bringing the number of qualified staff at the bank to 59.
The bank also establishes the necessary rules and procedures for making home visits to customers with disabilities in case they cannot visit the bank’s branch, in addition to providing a written chat service through WhatsApp to communicate with customers.
The bank also provides them with online inquiry services that are available 24/7. In addition, all employees have been trained to direct and introduce customers with disabilities to the nearest branches and facilitate their access to ATMs.
The bank’s efforts to facilitate their access to banking and financial services also include programs and seminars to raise financial awareness.
Attijariwafa Bank Egypt also provides a service where all documents related to opening accounts, banking services, and products can be translated into braille. Other services are available, including audio reading, text translation, and sign language on social media, the bank’s website, and display screens in all branches.
IDB equips some of its branches to serve customers with disabilities
The Industrial Development Bank (IDB) has started equipping some of its branches to serve its clients with special needs as part of the bank’s interest in providing its banking services to all segments of society.
Ghada El-Baily, Chairperson of the bank, said that the bank’s new branch, which was opened in Borg El Arab city in Alexandria, took into account facilitating the experience of people with disabilities to its banking services and products.
She explained that the branch was provided with an external elevator specially for people with disabilities, equipped with whatever was necessary to make their experience in the bank smoother.
There are also speaking screens available, as well as ATMs equipped with braille numbers. El-Bialy added that IDB has prepared and trained distinguished banking cadres to communicate effectively with its clients with special needs.