Provide easier access to credit
The need for emergency funds can be more acute among people with disabilities given their economic profile and health conditions. People with disabilities also face credit discrimination. A 2022 study by the National Fair Housing Alliance suggests that more than one-half of housing discrimination complaints filed in 2021 across different interactions, including rental, real estate sales, mortgage lending, housing-related insurance and appraisal, and marketing, among others, were based on a disability.7
Banks can help alleviate their credit woes by offering innovative credit products and flexible pricing. They can consider offering health care-related loans that incorporate elements of micro loans or buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) loans, such as instant credit and flexible payment terms. Introducing credit products that enable borrowers to pay with their disability income. In addition, banks can look for more creative solutions that promote affordable and accessible lending.
Design more accessible banking experiences
In our survey, only 8% of respondents with a disability said bank branches and ATMs provide the most accessible in-person experiences, compared to 24% of respondents who said hospitals and health care facilities were most accessible. Similarly, hybrid devices that have both physical and digital features can be challenging. ATM screens, self-service kiosks,8 and video-conferencing screens may not be designed to accommodate all people with disabilities.
What can banks do to address these challenges? They can redesign physical spaces and use assistive technologies to facilitate easy movement and better access. They can also make digital banking channels more accessible, such as by customizing the font or design, offering text alternatives for people who cannot see images or colors, and offering keyboard support for people who cannot use a mouse, for example. Much of banks’ progress in improving accessibility will depend on how well they embrace emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).
Banks should also consider working with third-party organizations committed to sustaining the future of people with disabilities in local communities, and public and private entities, including bigtechs and fintechs to adopt new technologies.
It all starts with adopting an equity-centered design philosophy. This will help banks curate products and experiences that could not only benefit people with disabilities, but also have a spillover effect,9 elevating banking experiences for all … products and experiences that people can truly “bank” on.
Interested in a deep dive? Download the full report to explore our in-depth analysis.