Millions of people live their lives with strict limitations and are not able to participate in the progress made through modern technology because of their disability. They are handicapped because they sit in a wheelchair, are blind or physically or mentally disabled.

The Diplomatic Council is devoted to making a contribution to improve the living conditions for these people by using modern technology and providing them access to these technologies. The smartphone has increasingly become a central switching point for all areas of life, both private and professional.

To this end, the Diplomatic Council and DC corporate member Imperium Apps have launched a new initiative to provide:

Accessibility through the use of cognitive technologies

DC member Perjan Duro has developed an app for smartphones that enables visually impaired people to regulate their financial transactions. This initiative will be useful for over 30 millions visually impaired people in Europe and more than 43 millions in the USA. It was jointly developed by the DC Global IT forum under the chairship of Thomas J. Graebe and Gabriele Becker.

Born in Albania, Perjan Duro has always dreamed of using technology to improve people’s lives. For the time being, he has identified an area which affects at least 73 million people in Europe and North America: FinTech for visually impaired people. Until now, there is no online banking app that is really barrier free and applicable for the persons concerned. The apps currently available include too many options, too many features whereof only a small part is optimized.

Accessibility First

For the reasons mentioned, FinFreund has been developed which represents the first banking App for visually impaired people. Each butting, each view and each functionality has been designed and created for visually impaired people right from the start focusing on “Accessibility First”. The software supports more than 3.100 sources of financing in Germany and Austria und works with almost all bank accounts:

Banking Apps are mainly used for:
– Checking account balance
– Transferring money
– Retrieving information

In oder to provide a scaleable and smart service, the software is equipped with artificial intelligent: IBM Watson with the IBM Bluemix Platform.

Innovative Bank Transfers

The best solution for a bank transfer, which visually impaired people can also handle, is to take a picture of the invoice, process the data and finish the transfer. Indeed, the market already offers such solutions, however, these only work in case all data of the invoice are captured and keyed in. This is difficult for visually impaired persons. FinFreund is able to recognize the complete invoice though its lens and analyze it automatically.

Artificial Intelligence

The App also uses Watson Computer Vision & OpenCV in order to recognize the corners of the document and, if necessary, to give instructions whether the document needs to be moved. Once the complete invoice is captured in the lens, a picture can be taken. It is uploaded, the data being processed and the transfer being prepared. The data can be reviewed before confirming the transaction.

Banking Concierge

Equally helpful is the „Banking Concierge“ – a customer service based on artificial intelligence which accepts requests and questions via voice command and also returns answers the same way.

At present, the FinFreund App is available in the EU and USA using the same security protocols as banks. The bank data are not stored on the servers of the providers. The bank connections are supplied by the same provider who is in charge of the multi-banking functionality of the Deutsche Bank.

DC member Imperium App offers this barrier-free app in its basic version free of charge for Android and IOS.