As is true for most industries, accessibility matters in finance and insurance. Accessibility ensures all services and content are available for all users. By providing accessible customer communications, these institutions can better serve all users.
What Needs to be Accessible?
To start, we should make note of what is specific to finance and insurance businesses. Because while the “why’s” for accessibility are often similar, the “what’s” can differ. In finance and insurance, there are two main types of content that need to be accessible.
- Customer-specific documents: this content generally resides behind a firewall as it contains Personal Identifiable Information (PII). This can include things like statements, tax forms, loan applications, policy documents, etc.
- Public facing documents: this is content that anyone can access. A website, marketing materials, or annual reports could all be included here.
The 3 Why’s of Accessibility
Now that we’ve established what should be accessible, we can talk about why it needs to be. The road to accessibility may vary by company, but the reasons for prioritizing it are often the same. Generally speaking, businesses focus on accessibility for three key reasons.
1. The legal and financial risks of noncompliance.
Businesses are subject to legal requirements to provide accessible content. This includes financial and insurance institutions. In the United States, for example, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws require businesses to provide services and information in accessible formats. If they don’t, they open themselves up to lawsuits.
Lawsuits cost time and money. Even if a company wins the suit, the process incurs costly legal fees. And if they are found guilty of noncompliance, they add on the cost of fines and fees, which continue to accrue until compliance is met. The better, and safer, option is ensuring communications are accessible.
2. Social responsibility.
Ultimately, providing accessible content is the right thing to do. All customers and clients deserve equal access to their information. By ensuring accessibility, financial and insurance businesses can do their part.
Plus, doing so shows customers you care. It makes it clear that yours is a business that aims to help them. It also means you provide a higher level of service to all customers. And that leads us into the third reason to prioritize accessibility.
3. To gain a competitive advantage.
Providing accessible content allows you to reach a larger audience. This includes people with disabilities who may be underserved by your competitors. Plus, banking and insurance have an aging consumer base. This means many customers may deal with common age-related issues like vision loss or cognitive decline. They need communications to be accessible.
Consumers have a world of options. Customer experience is a big opportunity for differentiation. If you don’t provide the level of service a user needs, they will find someone else who does. Accessibility improves your customer experience. So, companies that provide accessible content gain a much-needed competitive edge.
The finance and insurance industries are full of options for consumers. By prioritizing accessibility, you can offer a higher level of service. Plus, it keeps your business safe from costly legal fees and fines. If you’d like to learn more about how and why you should focus on accessibility, check out our whitepaper.