Increasing accessibility of the payment system
The NFPS endorses the recommendations to improve access of vulnerable groups to the payment system. The increasing digitalisation of payments and the decline in the number of bank branches in the Netherlands mean that the payment system is not readily available to the elderly, the handicapped and the functionally illiterate, together totalling several million people. In this context, the Forum investigated the question to what extent vulnerable people can perform basic financial tasks independently. The conclusion is that banks in general take into account the interests of their vulnerable customers and are willing to take further steps to improve their services in this area. But it remains a challenge to reach the vulnerable groups effectively. The Forum recommends that banks do the following to increase accessibility even more:
- set up an accessibility page on their websites with an overview of their facilities for vulnerable groups.
- use the international web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) for their digital services and test the user-friendliness of those services.
- involve representatives from vulnerable groups right from the start when designing products and services.
- keep the telephone banking service and, where possible, simplify the process.
- intensify cooperation with (local) seniors’ organisations to effectively reach out to this group and find solutions.
Improving in Europe payment accessibility
A new report highlights accessibility issues in the European payment system, varying from the use of ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) terminals to online banking and mobile payments. The report also offers solutions and best practices. One example is the introduction of mobile apps using voice recognition. Another one can be the use of acoustics and light signals to increase accessibility of ATMs and POS terminals for persons with a disability. The report is a co-production of a working group of Age Platform Europe and DNB and endorsed by the Euro Retail Payments Board.
PSD2 banking is getting more widely known
In March and April 2019, DNB conducted the public awareness campaign “PSD2 Bankieren, Nieuwe mogelijkheden. U beslist.” (PSD2 Banking, New opportunities. You decide.) at the request of the National Forum on the Payment System (NFPS, the Forum). The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness among the general public about the introduction of PSD2 and the fact that account holders may be asked to grant access to their current accounts. It is up to the account holder to give consent to third parties. Thanks to the campaign, PSD2 has become more widely known. More than a third of the Dutch population have noted the campaign, and awareness of PSD2 has increased significantly. The TV and radio commercials have now stopped. In the upcoming period, the campaign will be continued on the PSD2 banking website ( www.psd2bankieren.nl). The NFPS members will continue to educate their constituencies about PSD2. In the autumn the Forum will again perform a survey on PSD2 awareness and impact.
NFPS to update its Vision on the role of cash
The Forum has set up a task force to update its Vision on the role of cash. The current vision dates back to 2015 and states that it is important that cash money remains an accepted and well-functioning means of payment at points of sale, even though electronic payments are all around nowadays. The Forum considers it desirable that people have a choice between using cash and paying electronically, unless retailers have specific reasons for not accepting cash, such as security concerns. A reason for the update of the vision is that cash is used less and less. This impacts the costs of using cash, the infrastructure – the introduction of Geldmaat (a new, uniform yellow ATM) and changes in the cash-in transit company market – and the parties’ policies for accepting or refusing cash payments.
The NFPS urges business users to examine the consequences of Brexit for their payments and to take appropriate measures. See the guidance document included as Annex 2 (in Dutch only).