New sign language services launch at RBS
To coincide with Deaf Awareness week, RBS is launching a new service for deaf British Sign Language (BSL) customers, making it possible to instantly chat with the bank through a BSL interpreter.
The free service is available via the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest website and the SignVideo mobile app. Deaf and hard of hearing BSL customers will be able to talk to an advisor using their computer, tablet or smartphone via a secure video call which instantly connects to a BSL interpreter, who then phones the RBS contact centre to relay the conversation in real time.
There are approximately 150,000 deaf British Sign Language users in the UK who will be able to benefit from the new service.
Jeff McWhinney, SignVideo Founder and Chair commented:
“We are very excited to see more banks like RBS thinking about how they can serve their deaf BSL customers. RBS has worked with SignVideo to launch a service that provides access to their helplines for the BSL community. I applaud RBS for being one of the UK’s leading banks 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.”
Paul Breckell Chief Executive at Action on Hearing Loss, said:
“I am delighted to see new technology being used to improve accessibility to banking services for British Sign Language users. The roll out of this new service will allow RBS customers with hearing loss to better communicate their banking needs, something that is already easily available to their hearing peers.”
On the launch of the service, Ewen Stevenson, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor for Disability at RBS said,
“We want to be the number one bank in the UK for customer service, trust and advocacy. This means striving to be inclusive for all of our customers. In partnering with SignVideo we hope to make a real difference to the lives of our deaf and hearing impaired customers.”
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.