I went to a branch of Bangkok Bank to open a bank account for ARC. Up to now, we have been using the account of one supporter here, as un-registered organization cannot open an account. Now that I have the work permit, however, I decided to open an account by my name.

And there I was, so surprised to find out that a blind person cannot open a bank account at Bangkok Bank, which is one of the leading bank in Thailand. I would need to come with a sighted person, they said. 


In addition, I was so puzzled to hear that blind people cannot have ATM card!I asked them to explain the reasons, and the answers were like this:

1.A blind person cannot open a bank account by himself/herself because all the documents need to be filled out by the same person who signs it. In other words, blind people cannot do it because we can only sign, not fill in the form.


2. A blind person cannot have an ATM card because ATM machines are not accessible for the blind. The bank doesn’t want the blind person to reveal his/her bank details to a third person in order to use ATM. They might cheat blind people.


Well, I have heard that banking services are not quite friendly for those of us who don’t see like majority people in the society. But I couldn’t help feeling that I was not capable of doing such a simple thing as ”opening a bank account.”And the second rule about ATM amazed me so much! I mean, how can the bank forbid the blind to hold ATM card, just because they don’t bother to produce accessible ATM machines?It’s so simple! Instead of forbidding potential customers, they could start producing ATM machines with number pad and voice guidance! They will not only gain additional customers from blind community (which is not small at all), but also can claim themselves to be a socially-responsible corporate that take all members of society into consideration.