The Taipei and Kaohsiung subway systems will have talking automated teller machines (ATMs) installed at all of their stations by next year to serve the visually impaired, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said Friday.
Taiwan's top financial regulator said banks in Taiwan will complete the installation of the machines, which use audible commands so they can be operated without assistance by the visually impaired, in all 154 stations of the two systems by May 2017.
One ATM will be installed at each station.
Currently, Cathay United Bank (????) is in charge of installing ATMs in the Taipei Metro, while Union Bank of Taiwan (????) is responsible for putting in ATMs in the Kaohsiung Metro.
As of the end of June, there were 260 talking ATMs available in all of Taiwan regardless of venue, including some in Taipei subway stations, but none had yet been installed in the Kaohsiung subway system.
In addition to the installation of the special ATMs in the two Metro systems, they will also be put in at 27 different venues recommended by local civic groups over the next year.
The regulatory body estimated that the number of talking ATMs in Taiwan will hit 417 a year from now.
The FSC also said 19,173 ATMs, or about 76 percent of the number of ATMs in Taiwan, were accessible to people with disabilities as of June.
This emphasis on barrier-free ATMs reflected Taiwan's push for an inclusive financial system that delivers financial services at affordable costs to disadvantaged and low-income groups in society, the FSC said.
To serve the public better, the commission said it has been encouraging banks to extend loans to small businesses and innovative sectors, while supporting the development of mobile online payments and a digital financial environment in Taiwan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel