Nationwide Launches Free Sign Language Service
For immediate release: 24th Oct 2016
- Nationwide to team up with SignVideo to enable deaf and hard of hearing customers to access services
- Customers will be able to access sign language interpreters online to manage their finances
- Nationwide is the first building society to offer this service
Launching today (24 October), SignVideo Live will allow British Sign Language (BSL) users to take full advantage of the services that Nationwide has to offer.
The free service can be accessed via a link on Nationwide’s website which will enable customers who are deaf and hard of hearing to access a BSL interpreter through video. From here, the interpreter will connect the customer to the customer services helpline, relaying the call live, like any regular call.
Currently there are 11 million people confronting deafness and hearing loss in the UK, with approximately 150,000 BSL users. This emphasises the need for a customer experience where those who use BSL can confidently and independently manage their finances.
Video relay service is becoming increasingly popular in the customer services industry and complements Nationwide’s goal to provide an all-inclusive service for its customers. Available on computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, the service is easily accessible, offering customers equal opportunities across multiple channels.
Mandy Griffin, Nationwide’s Head of Customer Experience said:
“We are very proud to be partnering with SignVideo to provide our deaf and hard of hearing customers with the services they need to help them manage their finances. The service is another great asset, alongside our wider Specialist Support Programme, which enables our members to receive extra support when it matters most.”
Jeff McWhinney, Chairman and Founder of SignVideo, said:
“We are encouraged to see more financial institutions like Nationwide considering how they can serve their deaf BSL customers. SignVideo are thrilled to launch this service with Nationwide, that allows equal and immediate access to their helplines for the BSL community. We are proud of Nationwide for being one of the UK’s leading building societies in setting the benchmark for accessible customer services in the finance industry. The UK BSL community will be delighted that this service is now available.”.
SignVideo provides British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting services to enable communication between the community of over 150,000 deaf BSL users in the UK and hearing people. The service allows users to make and receive BSL interpreted video calls so that they can effectively and effortlessly communicate with each other. This happens through a professional video interpreter who relays the call between BSL and English and the service is available instantly on tablets, smartphones, computers and laptops via apps and software.
Born in 2004, SignVideo is led by Jeff McWhinney, a well-known deaf entrepreneur who fights tirelessly for equality of the deaf and hearing community. Today, SignVideo, a predominantly deaf-led organisation, provides their service to the government, NHS, councils, UK banks, telecommunications providers, helplines and many other types of organisations.
Notes to Editor:
About Nationwide’s Specialist Support Service
1With the shared aim of helping customers manage their finances and reduce the stress of money worries, the Society has worked with Macmillan Caner Support to develop a first-of-its-kind Specialist Support Service for customers affected by cancer. The Service covers the various stages a customer may experience when going through a difficult time, from immediate requests for support to the longer-term management of financial difficulties. In August 2016 the service was extended to support those with other life-limiting conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and motor neurone conditions.
About Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is the world’s largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and the second largest mortgages provider in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers and members.
Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide’s head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.