Identifying Barriers in Banking

The Problem

Federally regulated entities must produce accessibility plans based on consultations with PWD. A key issue is ensuring the plans do not just remove barriers, but also drive business returns.

Some regulatory regimes require consultations with PWD. Historically, these consultations have taken place with disability advocates and activists, rather than the core consumers of a given product or service. As a result, businesses fail to collect insights from approximately 25% of a given market – while simultaneously fulfilling their regulatory requirements.

By focusing consultations on core users, businesses have the opportunity to identify “wow” moments to scale and pain points to avoid – thus creating easy-to-use products and services that delight all customers.

Tracking PWD customer journeys across most frequently used banking services

Understanding “wow” moments, pain points, and barriers within PWD customer journey

Uncovering determinants of positive customer experience for PWD suitable for scaling

Uncover knowledge of PWD programs and services amongst front-line staff

What We Delivered

To address the need for growth while simultaneously ensuring the Client met regulatory requirements, RoDG conducted a series of “secret shops” – recruiting PWD to engage in banking services and products, both in-person and digitally. These users engaged in banking activities as they normally would, without any assistance from RoDG. Through diaries and subsequent focus groups, this allowed RoDG to trace the customer experience of actual PWD users and identify the most common use customer barriers to be targeted for future removal via informed design.

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From Branch to App

“Secret-shop” by actual PWD users across common banking services – recruited across disability “types” proportional to disability demographics.

Platforms for Improvement

In-depth focus groups with study participants to uncover and understand demands, pain points and barriers.

Comparing the Competition

Benchmarking experiences at clients’ institution compared to other Global financial institutions.

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Depositing Results

Identifying new design opportunities and processes – as identified by PWD customers.


The majority of barriers encountered by PWD are similar to pain points experienced by other core users. Accessibility initiatives could thus be re-aligned to both make banking more “accessible” while also improving the experience of core banking customers. The major exception was for users with low or no vision, who encounter significant barriers due to how banking systems interface with screen reading technology.

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Barriers to Banking

The most frequent pain points of PWD align with those of other core customers – but are amplified by disability.

Service is Experience

Perceived attitudes of customer service staff profoundly shape consumer experience.

Missed Opportunities

Many front-line banking staff are unaware of programs tailored for PWD.

Digital First

Most PWD vastly prefer digital banking to other forms of banking (in-person, phone).