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16.05.2018

Important step towards barrier-free access to financial services:
100 percent of UniCredit Bank Austria branches with comprehensive barrier-free access

  • All 123 branches comply with legal regulations and all modifications and renovations were designed with accessibility in mind
  • Furthermore, UniCredit Bank Austria comprehensively engages with the subject of accessibility and does not only limit it to structural measures: it ranges from recruitment and raising employees’ awareness, up to the concept of providing barrier-free access to services, whether stationary or digitally

A current study published by the Austrian Association of Persons with Disabilities (ÖZIV) shows how important the implementation of such measures is for people with disabilities. Currently, only around 50 percent of the shops on Austria’s shopping streets are accessible without barriers and only 22 percent of companies comply with the legally prescribed quota of hiring people with disabilities.

Some years ago, UniCredit Bank Austria already began viewing people with disabilities as a significant target group, both as customers and employees. Robert Zadrazil, CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria: “I am proud of the fact that we have been complying with the statutory quota since 2013, employing a staff of more than 300 employees with disabilities, and that all our branches offer barrier-free access. We can comprehensively consult our customers with disabilities using video telephony, sign language videos and screen reader functions on our website.”

A modern multi-channel concept with a focus on accessibility
“UniCredit Bank Austria is a pioneer for offering barrier-free banking services, not only in Austria but also internationally,” explains Erwin Schauer, Disability Manager of UniCredit Bank Austria. All branches provide access for persons with disabilities which extends far beyond the statutory requirements of access without external assistance. “For us, barrier-free accessibility is not restricted to structural measures but includes all of our business activities.” The barrier-free branches offer not only optimised self-service devices and writing desks for wheelchair users, but also tactile control systems, mobile induction units for persons with hearing impairments as well as the possibility for advice in sign language. In addition, many innovative online solutions for barrier-free banking offers are available to customers. One example of this strategy is SmartBanking in sign language: With this service, which is unique across Europe, the bank offers deaf customers individual consulting via video telephony right in their living room, and was recently honoured with the Zero Project Award for this innovative service.

People with disabilities as a valuable target group
The leading position in the area of barrier-free accessibility should lead to the bank becoming the first choice for people with disabilities in Austria. That is why UniCredit Bank Austria made significant investments in the following areas over recent years:

Branches with barrier-free access:

  • Self-service devices at a height suitable for wheelchair users which can be operated via keyboard with speech output
  • Sufficient path widths for access and operation of the devices
  • Special equipment for storing walking aids in the customer area
  • Height-adjustable writing desks in the customer area
  • Shuttle service for people with restriction of movement in Vienna and Graz
  • Tactile control systems for people with visual impairments
  • Mobile induction units for people with hearing impairments
  • Anti-slip areas on glass surfaces
  • Safes with barrier-free accessibility
  • Advice provided by employees in sign language (via video and in selected branches)

Barrier-free consulting beyond the physical branch:

  • Extensive transaction options via Online Banking or Mobile Banking App
  • SmartBanking (consulting and settlement of transactions via video telephony)
  • Smart Banking in sign language provided by an advisor capable of sign language with the enlistment of experts, if necessary
  • Information on barrier-free websites with read-aloud function (also for contract PDFs) and easy-read function
  • Branch locator with detailed filtering option for the equipment features for barrier-free access on the UniCredit Bank Austria website and on wien.gv.at

Further information on the barrier-free services of UniCredit Bank Austria can be found at: https://www.bankaustria.at/ueber-uns-verantwortung-kundinnen-und-kunden.jsp 

Enquiries: UniCredit Bank Austria press office
Volker Moser, Tel. +43 (0)5 05 05-52854
Email: volker.moser@unicreditgroup.at