The disability market is the third largest market in the United States at $490 million. Providing banking services effectively for individuals who have a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides the services under five formal titles that relate to different areas of public life, each of which relates directly to banking because of its connection to allowing everyone to be a part of society through their economic contribution.
Under Title I: When you provide accessible online services, you save on the costs of assisting customers with disabilities by phone or in person and lower your risk of expensive settlements for violating anti-discrimination legislation. A mere 5% of the largest North American companies are making efforts to connect with consumers with disabilities, and as a result are outperforming their competitors in long-term stock prices.
At-home, digital banking opportunities eliminates the need to explain one’s disability to someone, especially if the disability doesn’t interfere with the individual’s navigation of the basics of a banking system. This allows banks to provide their services through a qualitative lens in addition to a quantitative one. Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division: “Individuals who have disabilities must not be denied equal access to the services offered by financial institutions because of their disability.”
Under Title II: Employment, a big part of becoming employed is establishing with the employer how you are going to get paid in a way that is most convenient for you as the employee. Employers with fifteen or more employees have to comply with this law within the ADA. In respect to Title III: Transportation, the at-home opportunity provided by online services eliminates the need to have transportation to get the financial services and assistance that the individual may need. Under Title IV: Telephone and internet companies have to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications that allows individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone.
Regarding banking expenses, “[c[alls handled by agents typically cost about $4 per contact, while the cost per contact online is astonishingly lower: $0.10 to $0.15. Ultimately, banks that can shift between 5 and 20 percent of their call volume from agents to the Web and Voice Response Units can save as much as $25 million per year.” Banks could ultimately save expenses by making their website accessible. When a website is accessible, it makes the process of banking more affordable for both the customer and the banks because time is ultimately what is saved.
Through the compliance process between banks and individuals with disabilities, there is a qualitative lens through which banking is pursued. Rather than simply tracking numbers, banks and their customers ensure that the transition to online banking is seamless for all parties involved by prioritizing the quality of technology to fit the needs of all customers with or without a disability, and saves money for everyone in the long run.