I Like You’re Idea, but I’m Monervous About Some Things

So apparently in addition to JAWS at McDonald’s kiosks, Moneris has built some interesting and pretty helpful stuff into their terminals.

Cool…I think. I just have a couple of questions from a blind guy’s perspective. I’m sure the low vision stuff like inverting colours or brightening or adjusting the font is helpful out of the box, and that’s awesome.

First, how the heck do you know if the terminal has accessibility features on it? I know, there’s an accessibility icon. But if I don’t see it, and my helpful sales clerk has no idea what that A with a circle means and more importantly, just wants to push me through the process of paying, and isn’t even listening to what I’m asking, then how will I know this thing has accessibility features?

I guess a more important question is what happens if I push 5 on a non-accessibility-enabled Monaeris terminal, or any terminal for that matter? After all, I have no idea who made this thing that goes “beebeebooboop ching” that has been placed in front of me. Will anything bad happen? Sometimes keys have different functions depending on what screen you’re on.

Finally, Miss helpful video person, why didn’t you complete a purchase with a pin? This thing had better not speak my pin aloud since it sounds like it’s broadcasting its voice to the world. For the most part, that’s fine, but…they just finished telling me I have privacy over my pin because I don’t have to give it to anyone. If this thing just blasts it to everyone, uh-oh.

On the good side, I do like generally how easy it is to activate the accessibility features once you know they’re there…assuming that keypad has tactile buttons. Please say it does. Pleasepleaseplease. Otherwise I might cry, because without tactile buttons, I have no idea how to find the 5 that I have to push to start the audio prompts…so…it would be rendered useless. But I’m sure they’ve thought about this. I just can’t be positive. Don’t tell me CNIB will guarantee that won’t happen. CNIB isn’t building this stuff, Moneris is. CNIB can tell them there has to be a keypad until they’re blue in the face…but then the software and hardware guys go off and build…and then we find out how many recommendations were taken to heart.

I have seen stuff like that go down. Just go to the Fairway Ion Station and try and use their supposed accessible machines. When I last saw them, they had Braille all over them, and an audio jack, but the audio jack did nothing and the operation of the device required use of a touchscreen. But they cry out from the rooftops that they built them accessibly. And they will stay this way until they all break down because it’s hard to replace equipment, you know.

But back to our buddies at Moneris. To increase discoverability of accessibility features, why not put a tactile symbol on the outside of the terminal beyond the screen that I can feel for? It could be a raised A with a Braille A beside it. It doesn’t have to be monolithic. Then put out videos telling me where I can locate this symbol. That way, I’m not touching the touchscreen and setting all sorts of unintended things off by accident by searching for the tactile marker. I’m also not relying on the clerk knowing what I’m asking about.

If you don’t believe me about people’s lack of knowledge about accessibility features, go into RBC, TD or BMO and ask a random teller if their ATM’s have accessibility features. Unless things have declined, they do. Or jump into a Waterloo Taxi or City Cab and ask the cabby if their terminal has accessibility features. At least some cabs have this. Then watch their eyes get big. People don’t know about the capabilities built into this technology, some of them do well to operate the technology in the conventional way. I saw one cabby descend into a trembling heap of terror because I asked to pay with debit. He even ran away when my errand ended quicker than expected and the person in the store tried to ask him if he could take me back home. He said “No!” and ran.

Unfortunately, all the awareness and training in the world isn’t going to kick in unless they have to do it every day. Give the users the power to find the information. That includes consumers who can’t see the A in the circle on the screen.

I also love the ability to receive my receipt electronically. Pretty cool. Sometimes I have to submit a receipt, and there’s nothing more tedious than trying to find the right squished up piece of paper.

I am pretty impressed that this is being built in. I hope it takes off. I just have a couple of questions, that’s all, and if the answers are less than awesome, I hope there’s time to improve. Sadly, the answers couldn’t be found in this article that’s thin on details from last year. What it is heavy on is barfworthy comments from John Rafferty.

Imagine having to choose to share your PIN with the cashier or with the stranger behind you in line for help, or walk away from buying your groceries,” says John M. Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB.

I know there are touchscreen devices, but thankfully they’re not everywhere, and there are a few ways you can avoid giving out your pin.

  1. if you’re ok with having a credit card, disable the pin so you can just insert it, hit ok and boop, transaction approved. It doesn’t solve the other issues, but I’m just dealing with the pin example.
  2. If that’s not possible, and you don’t mind having tap, you can do that too up to a certain point.

I know that wouldn’t work if you were buying a TV or something, but the thing is it’s not happening all the time. I can’t think of a single time I’ve yelled my pin out to a cashier or the stranger nearby. But again, if this device announces your pin to the world, then you’ve just told everyone around you. Having not seen a proper demonstration video for these things, I have no idea how it works. But I’m not filled with hope and trust. All it would have taken is someone entering a pin and us hearing four clicks, or whatever privacy measure was put in place.

I did like hearing that Moneris isn’t charging the businesses for their upgrades, but so much was left unanswered by this press release and the video. Please, someone, help.

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. The video makes it look to me like all of the terminals will have tactile keypads. They’re mentioned enough that you really couldn’t have it any other way. And if the same company is in charge of the hardware and software, it’s pretty hard to screw things up to that degree. Not impossible mind you, but very, very difficult.

    I also would have liked to see a demo of the full process, not just tap.

  2. It would be cool if instead of your pin being spoken it would click like it does on your iPhone when you enter a password.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.