INCLUSION

Banks commit to steer inclusivity for persons with disabilities

Report highlights opportunities for independent access to banking services for customers with disabilities

In Summary
  • Study’s recommendations to be adopted across the banking industry.
  • Banks to develop PWD accessibility roadmaps by end of first quarter 2021.
KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka
KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka
Image: COURTESY

The Kenya banking sector has today reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing service delivery for Persons living With Disabilities (PWDs) as part of its strategic objective to entrench financial services across the country.

This follows the official release of the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Pilot Project Report by the Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Patrick Njoroge, today during a virtual event.

The report, based on a study coordinated by Kenya Bankers Association in partnership with the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSD Kenya) and non-profit inABLE, seeks to promote financial deepening in the country, especially for PWDs.

It highlights the challenges experienced by PWDs in accessing financial services and provides recommendations on strategies for enhancing service delivery to PWDs.

KBA Governing Council Chairman Joshua Oigara said the report offers the sector a roadmap to ensure that it fully caters to the needs of PWDs.

“At the core of this whole conversation is to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to live up to their potential just like anyone else,” he said.

KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said the sector’s commitment is anchored on its shared approach to upholding the principles of equality and inclusion towards all persons in the society including persons with disabilities.

FSD Kenya CEO, Tamara Cook highlighted the need for banks to put in place mechanisms that ensure that persons with disabilities are included in Kenya’s digital evolution and revolution.

InABLE Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika rallied banks to set policies in place that will transition their banking services and technologies to suit the requirements of PWDs.

The report calls for banks to outline how they will improve their websites, mobile applications, and written electronic banking documents to be accessible in line with internationally recognised best practice accessibility standards.

 

The digital accessibility assessment also recommends that banks should immediately issue ATM cards to all customers with disabilities, and make ATMs accessible to all customers, including those with visual and mobility impairments.

Further, it calls for the training of banking staff on basic sign language.