The National Australia Bank has apologised to a loyal Wangaratta customer who was directed to use a self-service machine, despite her vision impairment.
Mary Ambrosio has been banking at the city's branch for decades, being assisted in person by tellers to withdraw money, but a visit in November left her upset.
"I was greeted the door by a young girl who asked me what I wanted, she guided me over to the queue and I was there for about 20 minutes," she said.
"I was called over and she said 'you have to put your card in' [to the machine].
"I said I'm sight impaired, and then she asked for my driver's licence and I said again I was blind, and she told me to stand over there and she'd get someone.
"Then a girl I knew came over and opened the booth.
"I felt really terrible, I felt as if no one wanted to hep me."
Ms Ambrosio, who has retinitis pigmentosa and uses a cane, found out the employee she was served by had just started.
While acknowledging this, Ms Ambrosio said the incident was compounded by reduced face-to-face services.
She filed a formal complaint with head office and hoped sighted members of the public would become more observant after learning about her experience.
NAB retail customer executive Adam Morrison said the bank had an accessibility and inclusion plan and was working to ensure they met Ms Ambrosio's needs.
"We're sorry that Mary's experience at our Wangaratta branch did not meet her expectations and previous experience with the team," he said.
"We're here to serve our customers well, by making all our products, branch services and platforms available and accessible for everyone, including customers with a vision impairment."
Every day, and particularly yesterday on the International Day of People with Disability, Vision Australia advocates for people with blindness and low vision.
Vision Australia government relations and advocacy manager Chris Edwards said the organisation had advocated to the industry.
"Both technology and in-person service have a place in allowing people who are blind or have low vision to carry out banking and everyday tasks," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"As self-service technology becomes more prevalent, we have seen instances where the needs of people who are blind or have low vision haven't been considered during design.
"This can result in people ... being prevented from participating in day-to-day tasks that the wider community takes for granted.
"When designing these technologies, accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision or live with any other disability need to be considered from the beginning."