User vor 2 Bildschirmen mit Volksbank Login

Accessibility Consulting for Digital Banking

Volksbank presents new online banking

Since end of 2017, Volksbank is offering its clients a new digital banking. Besides a range of new and innovative functions and solutions, the new banking solution is also accessible for all humankind. USECON supported Volksbank within the process of applying to Accessibility guidelines in a consultative capacity and with the conduction of User Tests.

Digital banking for all

The new online banking was implemented on the basis of Accessibility guidelines (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG2.0) and should give people with disabilities unlimited access. In the course of this optimization, USECON gathered feedback from blind and visually impaired people (Accessibility User Tests) and evaluated the new digital banking from an expert’s view (Accessibility Review).

In a multi-stage process, the feedback gathered from the User Tests and the Expert Review was integrated into the online banking of Volksbank in 2017. In addition, the identified measurements had been quality-assured by the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BSVÖ).

Optimization for blind and visually impaired people

For the optimal usage of a screen reader (reading software for blind and visually impaired, people) we improved the menu navigation, the navigation, tables and interaction elements. Moreover, users are being supported by a version with high color contrast (background and text have a high contrast ratio in accordance to Accessibility guidelines) and audio-visual account statements.

Expert Review and Accessibility Test – The perfect match

An expert evaluation helps to identify and solve the biggest problems beforehand. For fine adjustments, User Tests with blind and visually impaired users are a very helpful tool to optimize the application as accessible as possible.

The system requirements are strongly linked to the needs of every single user – 100% of accessibility is impossible to reach. Due to the combination of Expert Reviews and Accessibility Tests we were able to identify and improve the biggest accessibility barriers.

The orientation of our digital banking to the needs of blind and visually impaired people was a very important step. On the one hand, we were able to create a long-lasting understanding of Accessibility within the project team. On the other hand, the findings of the Expert Reviews conducted by USECON extended our basis for future developments on a professional level.
Bettina Fattinger, Digitization & Innovation, Volksbank Wien AG

Accessibility is an obligation, not a Nice-to-Have!

It is by law since 1.1.2016 that all products and services, which are offered publicly, have to be also accessible for people with disabilities. This was one of the reasons why Volksbank asked USECON for Accessibility support and why they are now able to provide an accessible online banking to their customers.

It’s for everyone’s benefit

Besides meeting the regulatory requirements, Volksbank is now supporting all humankind with this optimization. A version rich in contrast also supports users who are using the digital banking on their mobile devices if the interface needs to be read out in sunshine.

The output of audio-visual account statements supports people who are not able to look at the screen (e.g. when driving a car). These two everyday examples show that an optimization regarding Accessibility guidelines makes sense for a much bigger target group than initially assumed.

To design the new digital banking as accessible as possible has been a big concern of Volksbank. The previous expert evaluation as well as the Accessibility Tests delivered valuable results regarding the practicality of the digital Banking. It was also shown quite well where there is need for optimization.
In addition, User Tests build awareness of the topic accessibility. In most cases, it is the first time when the project team watches the usage of the system by a braille display or other technical aids. At the same time, this also helps to create an understanding of the need of accessibility optimization.
Bettina Zillinger, Projektleitung