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Guide to accessible online banking

An RNIB guide considering online banking accessibility and how blind and partially sighted people can use their services.

A person uses a smartphone to access online banking

Online banking is a service that allows people to have access to many of the things you could do in a bank branch, from a device at home such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.

How to access online banking

You will need an internet connection and a suitable device. Depending on your bank you will need either an app or to visit their online banking website.

For either of these options you will need to set up an online profile. As well as the usual details about name, address and date of birth you will need to enter your account details and set up a secure way to log in. Some smartphone banking apps use fingerprint ID which is secure and easy.

Security considerations

When banking online there are some simple things you should be aware of to make sure your transactions are as secure as possible.

  • Ensure the website you are using is safe and secure. One way of checking this is making sure that the website has a padlock symbol, which means it is using encryption and security suitable for this task.
  • Use only the authorised app of your bank. Often your bank can help you install the app and get signed up.
  • Use home secure broadband, or a personal data plan whilst out of the home. It is recommended that public wifi is not used.
  • Email communication should always be authenticated. Many banking apps use the last 3 digits of your postcode, or a personal identifiable piece of information. Never click on links or open attachments in an email unless you are certain it is genuine.
  • Where available, security software is recommended to be installed and up to date on the device you are using.
  • If you get a telephone call that asks for your personal details, do not give anything out. Hang up immediately. Only contact your bank using a trusted number. Many banking apps or websites allow for direct communication with them, such as online chat or messaging.

The MoneySuperMarket website has some useful tips about how to prevent and deal with bank fraud.


Many banks have worked to make sure their online products and services are usable and accessible for people with sight loss.

Discuss your needs with your provider in order to make sure they can give you the most relevant information to their products and services. They may be able to help you install their app or show you how to use their website.

Technology can be adapted to provide larger fonts, colour contrasts and screen reading technologies that will interact effectively with these online banking products. This means a blind or partially sighted customer can access online banking with the adjustments that match their requirements.

You can easily find out about the accessibility options each bank offers and how to arrange or activate them by clicking on the accessibility and disability link usually found at the bottom of the homepage on their website.