close up of an ATM
By: Ronen On: August 26, 2016 In: Technology, Translation Comments: 0

Would you feel comfortable using an ATM in a foreign language? Chances are you wouldn’t, so why would you expect your customers to?

With the serious nature of financial transactions, ATM users want to be sure of what they’re doing — faced with the choice of stumbling through menus in another language or skipping the transaction entirely, most customers will probably opt for the latter. That’s why the translation of ATM instructions and onscreen text into multiple languages is so important in making ATMs accessible.

ATMs can do a lot these days, allowing users to withdraw or deposit cash, top off their cellphone credit, pay bills, transfer money between accounts and even buy train tickets. So why shouldn’t they also allow users to perform these transactions in whatever language they are most comfortable with?

Where Are Multilingual ATMs Needed?

It is particularly important for ATMs to provide multiple language options in areas that have a multilingual population or that receive significant traffic from tourists. Especially if the ATM provides currency exchange information, a multilingual ATM will prove attractive to visitors from abroad.

In areas with multilingual populations, providing access to ATMs in the local languages is essential (and may even be required by law). Whether it’s a big city with large immigrant communities or a country that has two (or more) official languages, ATMs should be made equally accessible to all residents – and this means giving them the option to use the machines in their primary language.

In areas that tend to attract travelers and tourists, providing access to ATMs in multiple languages is a good way to stand out among nearby, competing ATMs. By enabling easier access to funds, you encourage customers to use your machine.

Some specific sites where multilingual ATMs would be especially useful include airports, train stations, bus depots, major shopping areas and even cruise ships – basically anywhere that is likely to receive heavy foot traffic from international visitors.

What Language Choices Should ATMs Offer?

In determining what languages to make an ATM available in, you must consider the primary languages spoken by local residents and/or tourists who tend to visit the area. If the ATM is to be located somewhere like Canada, where there is more than one official language, you definitely want to make the onscreen text available in each of those languages. In addition, if you know that the ATM is to be situated in an area that attracts a large number of Japanese tourists, it would be wise to make Japanese one of the language options that users can select on the home screen.

How to Translate the Onscreen Text into These Languages

Professional translation services are the best option when you decide to translate an ATM’s onscreen text. They not only offer translators fluent in virtually any language you can think of, but also translators who are truly experts in their fields, in this case finance, and know all of the applicable terminology.

With a professional language services agency as your one-stop answer to generating ATM onscreen text in all your desired languages, you can rest assured that you will be provided with consistent and accurate multilingual content.

How Else Can ATMs Be Made More Accessible?

Most ATMs allow users to listen to text spoken aloud as an alternative to reading it onscreen, often in order to serve customers with visual impairments. For this reason, financial institutions should also consider offering such audio options in multiple languages.

In these cases, using voice overs provided by a professional language services agency would, again, be the way to go. With a full-service agency handling each step of the process, everything from the translation of the script to the actual recording of audio files with skilled, native-speaking voice over actors and post-production procedures would be taken care of for you.

Whether you’re a big international bank with locations across the globe or a small local bank located in an area that attracts a lot of tourists or that contains a multilingual population, you can benefit greatly from using professional language services to make your ATMs accessible to users in a variety of languages.

Instead of forcing your customers to struggle with the meaning of onscreen text in languages they are not familiar with, you can establish your ATMs as reliable sources of multilingual financial services. By doing so, customers are more likely to turn to your ATM machines no matter where they are, or what language they speak.

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