Talking ATMs in India - An Overview

Today in India thousands of Talking ATMs are deployed across different parts of the nation. These Talking ATMs are made available to provide customer service to persons with blindness for independent ATM transaction along with privacy and security. These ATMs are inclusive and are used by sighted as well as blind persons. Talking ATMs are equipped with text to speech technology which provides voice instructions that enables blind persons to perform their ATM transactions. The ATMs are equipped with audio jack and deliver voice guidance privately through the user's earphone to prevent others from hearing the transaction. Talking ATMs also offers another important security option to users to hide (no screen text shown) ATM screens. Voice guidance is very easy to follow as instructions are in the form of interactive voice response (IVR). Talking ATMs for blind allow users to exercise their choice of transaction using ATM keypad only. Each Talking ATM has a universal earphone jack to accommodate all standard 3.5 mm earphones. It is recommended by banks that a user should carry his/her own earphone to access a Talking ATM.

Union Bank of India unveiled India's first ever Truly Accessible and Talking ATM in Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 6th June 2012 for the visually and physically challenged persons. The bank has pioneered on Talking ATM front in India. Union bank's Talking ATM model and workflow has set a benchmark in banking fraternity in India. The bank also developed and circulated Talking ATM usage accessible manual in DAISY, electronic Braille and accessible PDF formats. Accessible instructions manuals can be downloaded from Union bank's website. On October 4, 2012 State Bank of India, India's largest Public Sector Bank, launched its first Real Talking ATM in New Delhi. State Bank has done large scale deployment of Talking ATMs in India. As per SBI's Annual Report 2015-16 “More than 1153 ATMs during FY2016 have been enabled as Talking ATMs for Visually Challenged customers. Thus, the total number of Talking ATMs has gone upto 9753 as on 31st March, 2016. Every new machine added comes with this feature ab initio. Care for the physically challenged is our priority too. 3734 of our ATMs have ramps to facilitate easy access for the physically challenged persons. Wherever possible, ramps and / or side railings are being provided.” Other PSU banks like Corporation Bank deployed Talking ATM for the blind in early 2014 and Bank of Baroda has introduced in the year 2013. Private Banks like Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and ICICI Bank have deployed large number of Talking ATMs for the blind. A Regional Rural Bank Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank has also installed Talking ATMs. .

This initiative of ‘Talking ATM India Locator’ website is a voluntary and non-commercial/not-for-profit endeavour. At present Talking ATM site search database contains total 11,037 Talking ATM addresses from 9 banks in India. Few banks have made available their Talking ATM locations list on their website and others have officially shared with us for building this site’s database. Our core idea is to develop a database of all Talking ATMs in India installed by nationalized, private, foreign and cooperative banks. This website is mainly a quick and easy search tool for various platforms and devices.p>

Details on updated talking ATM locations – We have Union Bank of India’s total 1650+ Talking ATM as listed on bank’s website updated on 31st March 2016. State Bank of India has total 2882 as is data copied from their website on 12/10/2016. Citibank has 106 talking ATMs as is data copied from their website on 5/10/2016. HSBC has 65 as is copied on 10/10/2016 and Deutsche Bank has 32 as is data copied from their website on 29/9/2016. Corporation Bank with 2 locations; Bank of Baroda with 167; Standard Chartered Bank with 136 and ICICI Bank with 6148 as shared through email with us.. In India few more nationalized, private, foreign and cooperative banks have also taken initiatives on Talking ATM for the blind.