Banking leaders are using innovation to make a difference in the everyday lives of people across the world. These remarkable innovations continue to set standards for others to follow.

In my previous post, I highlighted a few of the incredible innovations we saw during the Efma-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards in 2019. When we talk about awards, we often focus on those who win in their categories—but there are so many others that deserve attention for their contributions to our society.

There are leaders to be found in so many places. Leaders who are listening to voices with different experiences. Leaders who have these voices and experiences. Banking is no exception, and the industry is using innovation to improve peoples’ lives. As my colleagues stated last year, the mantra for the future should be, “Don’t do anything unless it improves the customer experience.”

Some of the life-changing innovations from the 2019 awards set new standards for the customer experience and continue to make a difference.

In Greece, e-branch provides better accessibility

The e-branch by Piraeus Bank in Greece focuses on flexibility, security and usability to offer advanced banking services. These services provide full accessibility to people with visual and hearing disabilities, as well as people with mobility issues. e-branch aims to be a comfortable, accessible space that brings the benefits of internet banking while simplifying common technical challenges.

For the visually impaired, e-branch offers guidance by a representative and the ability to use internet banking with voice support. Digital transactions are available with the support of representatives trained in Greek Sign Language. People with mobility issues have easily accessible machine height along with guidance by a representative.

I believe these are steps in the right direction for inclusion. The results say it all: With e-branch, there were 1,500 transactions in one year by customers with disabilities, along with a 191% increase in the value of deposits and a 171% increase in the number of transactions.

A Turkish bank provides self-service through video calls

XTM by Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank in Turkey is also leading the way in advanced banking services, specifically with sign language. XTM is a machine that enables self-service transactions with representative support through video calls in Turkish Sign Language, English and Arabic options.

Kuveyt Türk recognized the opportunity to improve its customer experience, and the lives of millions, with an innovative solution that works toward inclusion. With 3 million hearing-impaired people in the country, XTM has been used thousands of times since its launch in 2019.

Particularly noteworthy, XTM branches across the country provide all hearing-impaired people with banking services in Turkish Sign Language whether they are customers or not. I’m inspired by this forward-thinking approach as we continue to grow as an industry.

A digital interpreter helps Brazilian banking clients

Continuing with sign languages, I must highlight Bradesco Digital ‘Libras’ by Banco Bradesco and its digital interpreter tool. Clients in Brazil with hearing disabilities can communicate with branch managers through video chat in Brazilian Sign Language (Libras).

With the use of 3D animation, the digital interpreter assists with communication, even if the manager does not know sign language. While this provides a better customer experience, there is also greater privacy for the customer, as traditionally a person would be used as an interpreter.

The Bradesco Digital ‘Libras’ tool was deployed in 2019 in 220 branches across the country. It continues to increase access to information, banking and digital inclusion.

Let’s continue to celebrate ideas like these and all those contributing to our society. The Efma-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards is an opportunity to reflect and continue the work to grow as an industry. Do you have innovative projects leading the way? There is still time to submit! The 2021 deadline is 24 September. I can’t wait to see the banking accessibility ideas taking center stage this year.