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Title: E-accessibility of online banking services for visually impaired people
Author: Ali, Liaqat
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 3282
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
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The customers of today's global networked economy have higher demands and expectations from their financial institutions. The growing paranoia caused by the cyber criminals' ability to access their unauthorized personal information. Although online banking greatly increases the convenience of banking services especially by making many services accessible virtually anywhere, the issue of accessibility is becoming more stringent to avoid potential threats. In the current population, there are significant numbers that are visually impaired. Unfortunately web developers and designers still think of Web as a purely visual medium and are avoiding the fact that visually impaired people have the equal access rights. This research focuses on the E-accessibility level of online banking services in the European Union and the United States of America by conducting 2072 accessibility tests. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) -has provided the standard of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0). The accessibility tests were conducted using the accessibility tool Bobby-WatchFire-WebXact. The research identified that despite standards set by the W3C, many websites still fall short of E-accessibility. The importance of E-accessibility in developed countries is also acknowledged but unfortunately, the solutions may not be sufficient to support security especially providing the facility of online banking, anytime anywhere, to disabled end users. The security of online banking for visually impaired people is an important issue along with accessibility and goes in parallel. Banks are using additional methods to achieve the extra layers of security but unfortunately not for everyone. In this research, a number of issues have been highlighted according to the perceptions and experiences of the blind and partially blind people, by conducting a Web based survey with the help of RNIB (Royal National Institute for Blind) UK. Conclusions have been made about issues of accessibility and security. The survey conducted by collecting in total 81 responses (63 online responses + 18 interviews). The participants of the survey shared their experiences and barriers in online banking in terms of accessibility and security according to their own perceptions. By analyzing and evaluating 2072 websites to measure the accessibility level in this research, it has been concluded that 66% websites of online banking services in the European Union and 87% in the United States of America do not meet the minimum standard of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) outlined by W3C. With the advent of additional security devices to enhance the security layers of online banking services, from the tested sample of 81 visually impaired people, this research found that 55% of blind population in United Kingdom, doing online banking previously, now cannot without the help of others. It is likely that the remaining 45% never had the experience of the features being offered to them by their financial institutions. Had they also been come across the situation would have been more aggrieved.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available