When it comes to technology, it’s not just about efficiency or aesthetic, but making sure it also works easily for everyone, says Scotiabank’s Chief Digital Officer Shawn Rose.

Whether that’s for customers or employees who are colour-blind, hearing impaired or have limited motor function, making sure the technology is accessible is ever more important, he said during the latest episode of Pandenomics.

The latest redesign of the Bank’s app put accessibility at the centre, which in turn makes for an experience that’s better for all customers, he added.

"There are constraints that some of our customers have, and some of our employees have, around their sight, or their hearing... being to efficiently utilize the tools  in your hands or in your headset or at your fingertips -- it's good for everyone."

In the latest episode of our podcast series looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Rose talks about the explosion of online financial activity over the past year and the acceleration of digital adoption.

Making sure the Bank's app and website are accessible is always important, but even more so now as more people do their banking without the help of a teller in a branch. This growing shift to digital banking has been underway for years but sped up by the pandemic.

But mobile usage, in particular, has been gaining traction at a rapid pace.

Rose says about 30% of the customer traffic comes through the website, a figure that has remained steady in recent years. However, mobile traffic has ramped up from roughly 10% to 15% about five years go, to now close to 50% across most of the countries where Scotiabank has a presence, he added.

"These last five years have seen the trend towards mobile usage go through the roof."

But it’s also important to make sure accessibility extends to those do not have access to online devices, or prefer to transact in cash, he said.

It’s a consideration built into how the ABM’s are designed as well, for example, he adds.

"We think through the accessibility angle on almost everything."

  • Listen to other episodes of Pandenomics here.