changed customer experiences, expectations and behaviours when receiving services and dealing with
organisations; and banking is no exception. In recent years, there has been a
huge increase in the number of people who are dealing with their bank through
digital transactions and online.
What has all this meant for customers wishing to deal
with their bank through the medium of Welsh? This is what the Commissioner
wanted to find out, and she asked the public what were their impressions and
experiences when trying to access Welsh language services by their bank.
There was a general feeling among customers that the
Welsh language services were deteriorating. Many said that it was impossible to
do any online banking in Welsh. Several said that the closure of branches had a
negative impact on their ability to discuss their money in Welsh. Others said
that Welsh language telephone banking services were inconsistent and that the
service was not being promoted adequately.
No bank is currently offering a Welsh language online
banking service or apps. And, despite all the possibilities of the digital
revolution, it seems that the language has been left behind in these
Commissioner has established a forum with senior banking officers
to discuss the way forward., and they have so far met half a dozen times. In these meetings they
have heard from companies in other sectors how they have gone about to develop their
Welsh language services.
developments have been put in place or are in the pipeline?
is early days, but we can announce that TSB is currently working with the
Commissioner to develop a banking app that can offer a Welsh language service.
When the app is launched within the next few months, it will be the first ever app
which will allow customers to bank through the medium of Welsh on their mobile
phone or tablet.
Welsh language option on ATM machines has been around for a long time. But, the
technology behind these machines is changing rapidly, and they are fast
becoming sophisticated systems which remember customers’ details. In terms of
language, this means they will remember the customer's preferred language and
will offer service in that language by default. If you are banking with
Santander, remember to set up Welsh as your language of your choice in the
settings, and you will get a Welsh language service every time.
is still some way to go to ensure an equal experience when dealing with Banks
in Welsh and in English; but these are significant developments which can show
the way for all banks.