Banking for people with disabilities can be very challenging if bank facilities aren’t accessible. To improve access for people with disabilities and achieve financial inclusion, the Central Bank of Egypt has obliged banks operating in the local market to provide the infrastructure necessary to facilitate all banking services for this segment.
Banks are obligated to include disabled people within the target customer segments and provide saving vessels and suitable banking products for them. Moreover, special bank cards will be issued to them to use their accounts with ease.
Disabled customers can also use their fingerprint as an alternative for a signature required in all banking procedures. Assistance will also be provided to customers to help them choose the banking services and products most suitable for them.
In order to achieve disclosure and transparency, the new instructions obligated banks to make account opening contracts and application forms for the bank’s products and services clear and uncomplicated, with publications, bank notices, and account statements available in Braille or in the form of audio CDs. Furthermore, information about the bank’s products and services will be available on the website and social media, accompanied by audio reading for people with visual disabilities and sign language for people with hearing disabilities.
With regard to preparing the infrastructure of banks, banks are obligated to equip 10% of its branches for people with disabilities. ATMs with special specifications must also be provided to facilitate the provision of banking services. Automated audio recordings will be provided inside branches through a device equipped with headphones to read the most important terms and conditions included in contracts.
The instructions issued also focused on training and preparing cadres working in banks to communicate effectively with customers in branches, while allowing home visits if necessary.
CBE obligated all banks to adjust their reconcile their situation in accordance with the instructions issued within a maximum of one year from the date of their issuance to reinforce the state’s trend to offer all financial services to people with disabilities without discrimination.