Customers who are blind or have low vision will be offered banking support and assistance through a pioneering trial with Lloyds Banking Group and Be My Eyes.
Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers will be able to connect securely with the bank through the Be My Eyes app to provide visual assistance for everyday tasks including explaining bank statements checking and confirming transactions and managing money.
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app for iOS and Android which has grown to become the largest online community for people who are blind or have low vision across 150 countries. It works by giving users free access to a network of sighted volunteers and company representatives who provide visual assistance for the task at hand.
Access to the help platform is available through a live video connection from the rear-facing camera on the customer’s smartphone using the Be My Eyes smartphone app on either iOS or Android.
Stephen Noakes, Retail Transformation Director, Lloyds Banking Group, said: "We’re always looking at new ways to make banking easier for customers, and we are the first bank to trial this pioneering smartphone technology to assist our blind and partially sighted customers. Our colleagues will be on hand to support customers with their everyday banking in a more accessible way, and we are already getting positive feedback from customers who have said they feel more independent as a result."
Alexander Hauerslev Jensen, CCO at Be My Eyes, said: "We’re pleased to welcome Lloyds Banking Group to the Be My Eyes community. It is our goal to make the world more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision, and having Lloyds Banking Group on our Specialised Help platform is a huge step in taking banking in that direction."
Robin Spinks, Innovation Through Partnerships Manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: "It can be challenging for anyone with a visual impairment to deal with paperwork, and the small print and long numbers associated with banking can be especially difficult."
"Assistive technology, like Be My Eyes, is helping transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people, by boosting independence and breaking down barriers to a more inclusive society. By using this technology to help visually impaired customers with their banking, Lloyds is setting a new benchmark in accessible customer service.
"We hope that this partnership heralds a new era in accessible banking, so blind and partially sighted people can handle their affairs independently, either on the move or from their own home."
The assistance through the app is for support services only. Any account specific enquiries relating to payments or money transfers should still be addressed through the Halifax, Bank of Scotland or Lloyds Bank helplines or local branches.