The Department of Justice is looking at your website – are you ADA compliant?
Compliance. It’s a word that finance managers are all too familiar with. We know it might cause a slight sinking feeling, but compliance guidelines exist to protect everyone — You and your customers.
That’s why it’s vital to understand the impact and implications of the new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines issued by the Department of Justice. In short, it’s about making sure your banking website and online presence is easy to access and use for visual and hearing impaired customers (and that’s good for everyone).
It matters for two pretty big reasons:
- It shows your commitment to all your customers and making their banking experience as easy as possible.
- It protects you from legal action — Businesses with websites that fail to meet ADA / DOJ requirements have been fined or sued (ouch).
The problems visual or hearing impaired people have with using websites.
For most people, using a bank website is easy (especially if they don’t forget their password!) They visit the site, enter their login details, get into the online banking app and pay their bills, check their statement, and manage their finances. If you’re blind or visually impaired, that gets a lot more difficult.
They may need specialist tools like braille or tactile interfaces, screen readers, voice activated navigation, and specialist software. When they arrive at a banking website they may run into more frustrations because the site isn’t coded properly to work with their hardware and software.
If your customers are hearing impaired, they will run into problems with audio content, or if they needed to call a service center to get issues sorted out.
It’s these problems the DOJ’s guidelines are trying to solve, and they’re serious about it.
How do you know if your website is ADA compliant?
The simple truth is, if you need to ask whether your website is ADA compliant, it probably isn’t. For example, does your website:
- Allow navigation completely by keyboard (not using a mouse)?
- Have rich alternative descriptions for any pictures or visual elements on your website?
- Explain what’s happening in customer service videos, purely through audio?
- Provide sign language interpretation for audio content?
These are just four examples from the over 70 requirements the DOJ has. Ultimately, it comes down to the question: Is your banking website completely usable by all of your customers, regardless of their ability or disability?
Why your bank website needs to get compliant
Your bank website needs to be compliant by 2018. If it’s not, you’ll run into several big problems:
- You could get sued or fined by the DOJ for non-compliance.
- You could fall foul of equal rights laws.
- You could get negative publicity and a bad brand reputation.
In short, getting compliant isn’t an option if you want to stay in the clear.
Relax, we’ve got this
We understand just what it takes to get your banking website ADA compliant. We also understand you just don’t have the time. That’s why we’re here to help — We’ve already helped banks like Litchfield Bancorp and Collinsville Savings Society, and we’re here to help you.
Get in touch today and we’ll explain exactly how we’ll make your bank website ADA compliant. Get yourself some peace-of-mind.