How Fintech Levels the Playing Field for People with Disabilities

Everyone needs to borrow money sometimes — whether it’s through a mortgage to purchase a home or a personal loan years later to repair the roof of that house. Unfortunately, people living with disabilities face unique challenges when getting the funds they need.

According to the United Nations, some 1 billion people live with disabilities. That’s roughly 15% of the world’s population who may struggle to access loans when they need financial assistance. 

FinTech platforms provide digital solutions for people with disabilities, providing online loans that remove some or all of the barriers standing in the way of mainstream options. 

Eliminates the Need for In-Person Applications 

For some people with reduced mobility, immune-diseases, or mental health issues, travelling to a physical branch can pose an insurmountable challenge. 

  • You may not be able to sit in a car long enough to make it to your closest bank, or you may suffer from extreme anxiety when talking to people in person.
  •  After the pandemic, you may not want to share a space with others as an immune-compromised individual. 
  • Or, you may be like countless of people living with or without disabilities who don’t have time to make it to the bank. 

Regardless of your story, FinTech is there to streamline the borrowing experience. Emerging online loan platforms make it possible to borrow cash from the comfort of your home using your phone or computer. These tools are all you need to fill out an application to see if you qualify. 

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With many of the underwriting steps unfolding virtually, you won’t have to visit a branch to apply or receive your funds. The same goes for repaying your online loan if you are approved. FinTech is naturally suited for digital payments. 

Innovative Platforms Empower People Living with Disabilities

Disabilities can impact the way you interact with technology. Without intervention, online loans by phone or computer may be locked behind digital barriers that prevent you from filling out an application. 

FinTech platforms leverage emerging accessibility technologies to mitigate these barriers — or remove them entirely from the online experience. Basic adherence to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and local state disability laws ensure personal loan sites are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

In other words, these guidelines make sites easier to navigate with the following features:

  • Minimum text size and color, ensuring visible contrast with background.
  • Plain language that’s easy to understand without a degree in economics or law.
  • Intuitive site architecture and clear navigation buttons. 
  • Minimal pop-ups that may interfere with screen readers and other accessibility tools. 

Some FinTech platforms go above and beyond these basics by enhancing their sites with accessibility widgets that tailor the site viewing experience. While each widget is different, most come with preset profiles that adjust the website to suit different disabilities. They also allow you to adjust settings to customize a website that supports your needs. 

The Takeaway:

Innovative FinTech platforms are changing the way people of all abilities can view and apply for loans online. But more importantly, these digital-first services can help many people with disabilities navigate the financial world with greater ease.  

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