NAB launches voice-activated ATM

National Australia Bank has launched Australia's first voice-activated ATM, in a pilot program which will assist the blind, the visually impaired and elderly customers. The initial pilot program will run until June 2002 and then be extended to another 10 locations. From January 2003, the NAB says that all newly-purchased ATMs installed will be voice-activated.

The ATM instantly recognises when a headphone set is inserted and starts the transaction sequence, giving constant guidance and feedback to the user on the locations of the keys.

NAB's Kay Thawley says that the aim is to provide greater access to banking services and to increase the financial independence of customers. The NAB has a disability action plan, one of whose objectives is to provide people with disabilities full access to and benefits of ATM services.