India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) plans to introduce 7,000 voice-enabled ATMs across the country for visually challenged customers beginning next month, a senior SBI official said here.
"Out of our 18,500 ATMs, 7,000 will be made voice enabled for visually challenged people. We expect to launch these talking ATMs starting next month," SBI's General Manager (Alternate Channels) Amitabh Kumar said at a CII-seminar here.
These voice-enabled ATMs, customised with headphones and braille key pads, will offer services like fund transfer and downloading of account statements, Kumar said.
At present, SBI is testing these voice-enabled ATMs with its partners NCR and Diebold and expects to make these operational in a month's time, he said.
SBI plans to install these ATMs in metro, urban and semi urban towns across the country.
"The country has 10.6 million visually challenged people and it is the duty of the banks to help these people meet their banking needs," ICICI Bank's Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar said.
ICICI Bank has installed its first talking ATM in 2003. Over the years, the bank has also ensured that the basic banking facilities can be used by physically handicapped people, Kochhar said.