NatWest has made its mobile banking app easier for blind and partially sighted customers to use.

The app, which will support 10,000 visually impaired customers, has now become the first of its kind to be accredited by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

More than 160 changes have been made to the app, including some that use existing technology on iPhones and Android devices that allows text on an app to be read out loud to the user.

From now on, sort codes will be read out as individual digits rather than whole numbers and the names of landing pages will be read out when customers navigate to them.

We have developed a banking app which is just as easy for blind or partially sighted customers to use, as it is for all our customers

Les Matheson, personal and business banking chief executive, NatWest
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Contrast in the app has also been improved and some colours have been changed to make text easier for partially sighted users to read.

Steve Tyler, head of solutions, strategy and planning at RNIB, said: “RNIB and NatWest have been working together to improve accessibility for their banking customers.

“The app offers lots of benefits including transferring money between accounts, making payments, fingerprint login – on the iPhone – and the ‘get cash’ feature whereby the user is sent a code which is then inputted into an ATM in order to get cash out.

“What’s also great is that blind and partially sighted people have access to the same app as their sighted peers, at the same time.

“RNIB are excited by this new offer, and delighted that NatWest is continuing to work towards providing accessibility for all.”

Les Matheson, NatWest’s personal and business banking chief executive, said: “We want to make banking with us as easy and straightforward as possible, no matter what people’s circumstances are.

“Last year we introduced the first ever accessible bank card and now, in partnership with RNIB, we have developed a banking app which is just as easy for blind or partially sighted customers to use, as it is for all our customers.”

In addition to new accessibility features, the new update will allow Android users to log in using fingerprint authentication.

Earlier this month, NatWest launched a new service to help deaf customers communicate with the bank.

Launched during Deaf Awareness Week, the service allows people to chat to the bank through a British Sign Language interpreter.