On 26 April, DGI team members Gisele Mesnage, James Newton and Robyn Lee had the unique opportunity to meet with Anna in person at the ABA’s head office in Sydney. We were impressed by her grasp of the concerns we raised and her commitment to addressing these concerns.
We can say now that Anna Bligh has hit the ground running in terms of bringing a fresh approach to her role.
Among the broad range of current banking accessibility issues we raised were:
- touchscreen POS devices (such as the Albert – yes him again);
- the new touchscreen “smart” ATMs;
- the necessity for the ABA and its member banks to develop a Procurement Policy that ensures payment terminals and payment solutions adhere to the Australian Government’s recently adopted Accessible ICT Standard;
- the need to include Accessibility in the ABA’s Code of Banking Practice and also in the international PCI (Payment Card Industry) Standards; and
- of course our concerns about the proposed replacement of the 2002 Accessible Banking Services Standards with what DGI views as weaker “Guiding Principles”.
We also touched on the questions of:
- accessible authentication;
- new cardless and contactless mobile phone transactions and other new technologies used in banking; and
- the closure or redesign of bank branches.
Anna Bligh hinted that she is planning for the ABA to convene a round table in June to bring together various representatives to discuss the future of the Accessible Banking Services Standards, and how the current issues might be addressed more effectively.
DGI expresses its deep gratitude to Anna for meeting with us so soon after her appointment, and for her warm welcome to us. The meeting gave us confidence that our concerns were heard and will not be dismissed.