More than 80 POSB, DBS ATMs enhanced for the visually impaired

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - POSB announced on Wednesday (Jan 13) that it has enhanced more than 80 of its automated teller machines (ATMs) across the island to aid visually impaired customers.

Mostly located at MRT stations, these DBS and POSB ATMs now have visually handicapped-friendly functions such as Braille instructions and audio guidance.

First to introduce such features to ATMs in Singapore, POSB said it had worked closely with the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) on this project and hopes to help visually impaired customers, including the elderly who suffer visual impairment as a result of ageing or chronic eye disease, perform ATM transactions more independently.

Mr Sim S. Lim, DBS Singapore Country Head said: "We worked closely with SAVH to ensure that for the visually handicapped, the process of using these ATMs would be as simple and easy as possible."

He added that the whole process from user experience development, testing, piloting and then finally implementation took 1,000 man-hours.

"With POSB providing ATMs with audio features, the visually handicapped person is now able to withdraw cash independently and privately. This eliminates the need to make cash withdrawals over the counter or having a sighted person present to read out the prompts on the screen," said Mr Danny Chia, Vice-President of SAVH.

These "Talking ATMs" can be identified by Braille indicators or by "Visually Handicapped Friendly" signs on the ATM.

To activate the audio instruction feature, users have to plug their headsets into the ATM's audio jack. This instantly activates the voice instruction feature that will guide users as they perform basic transactions such as balance enquiries or cash withdrawals.

Further user instructions in Braille can also be found at key locations across the machine, said POSB.

In addition, POSB said that it has provided a "demo" ATM machine to SAVH. Located at SAVH's premises, the machine will serve as a training tool to help members get acquainted with the ATM's visually handicapped friendly functions. The bank is also working with SAVH to develop instruction manuals and train facilitators.

Information on POSB Talking ATMs, including usage instructions, is available at