Bank Promises 'Talking' ATMs for Visually Impaired

FRAMINGHAM (03/16/2000) - Bank of America Corp. yesterday became the first bank to promise a national rollout of "talking" automated teller machines (ATMs).

Visually impaired customers will be able to use more than 2,500 talking ATMs in California and Florida, the bank's largest markets, over the next three years, according to a press release the bank issued yesterday.

Blind customers will be able to use the machines to withdraw cash, deposit money and perform other functions, such as checking their account balances. The ATMs will be equipped with audio jacks that will deliver voice information privately to protect the security of blind and low-vision users.

The bank plans to extend the ATM installations to other U.S. states where it does business, beginning early next year. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank is deploying talking ATMs that were developed by NCR Corp. and Diebold Corp.

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