Taking serious note of difficulties faced by visually challenged persons in accessing banking services, RBI on Wednesday asked banks to ensure that one-third of new ATMs installed are talking machines with Braille keypads.
"It has been brought to our notice...that visually challenged persons are facing problems in availing banking facilities like internet banking... Banks are, therefore, advised to strictly adhere to instructions... and extend all banking facilities to persons with blindness, low-vision and other disabilities.," RBI said in a notification.
The RBI had earlier directed banks to provide banking facilities such as cheque book facility including third party cheques, ATM facility, net banking facility, locker facility, retail loans, credit cards invariably to visually challenged persons without discrimination as they are "legally competent to contract".
It also advised the banks to take necessary steps to provide all existing/future ATMs with ramps (so that wheel chair user/persons with disabilities can easily access them) and to make at least one third of new ATMs installed as talking ATMs with Braille keypads.
It is estimated that over 15 million people in India suffer from visual impairment.