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China’s WeBank announces accessible features on its app for the visually impaired

By Edil Corneille

October 19, 2020

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WeBank, China, digital, appChinese privately-owned and digital-only bank – WeBank, has announced its improved accessible services on the bank’s app for visually impaired citizens. The accessibility features enable the individuals to easily access WeBank’s online banking services. Since 2019, when the bank started its research on information accessibility, the company has gradually learned more about visually impaired users’ pain points, and it develops and designs the features on the app to help the visually impaired manage finances.

Ting Hua, the developer of accessibility features of the WeBank App said, “WeBank has always highly valued social responsibility and keeps exploring the demands of users with visual impairment. We are not satisfied with only developing products that are ‘usable,’ but we aim to make them ‘easily accessible,’ by leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide the visually impaired with the same financial services as every WeBank customer. WeBank App is integrated with advanced technologies to provide personalized and humanized financial services for visually impaired users. These technologies include face anti-spoofing, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered speech synthesis, acceleration sensor, real-time image processing, vibration sensor and edge detection of human face.”

WeBank App leverages face anti-spoofing technology. By using a voice guide, vibrations and AI technology, the app detects the deviation between the face and the facial recognition area. The app’s ‘Shake-to-enquire’ function allows users to shake their mobile phone to quickly find a page, such as a transaction query, recent debit cards, recently purchased products, etc. To help users find staff services quickly, an exclusive customer service click-to-call button on the ‘Shake-to-enquire’ page is available. Pages displaying financial product information have been designed in a vertical ‘up to down’ layout. The earphone-enabled privacy mode ensures users’ balances are only read out when an earphone is connected.

Zhenyu Fang, Executive Assistant President of WeBank said, “WeBank actively merges corporate social responsibility into business operations, participates in advancing the public good with inclusive finance, and boosts financial inclusion with a philosophy based on the interests of public benefit. The accessibility technology optimization of WeBank App is equivalent to providing a white stick for every visually impaired person, allowing them to fulfil their financial demands online via mobile phones, making their life more convenient. Furthermore, the development framework of the App has been open-sourced, which means WeBank can share their accessibility exploration with the industry, which helps to improve accessibility features for more financial products.”

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