The Importance of Website Accessibility for Financial Advisors

What happens when a person with a disability can't use a financial institution's website? They leave.

A 2019 study by Nucleus Research found that two-thirds of the internet transactions initiated by people with visual impairments end in abandonment due to the lack of website accessibility. Like many working people, individuals with disabilities need the assistance of online resources and a financial advisor to help them grow their assets and save for the future. Creating an accessible website design will minimize your legal risk under the ADA and help the disability community access your digital information. Using accessibility features such as alt tags for images will improve your search engine optimization and boost your search engine ranking.

According to the CDC, 26 percent of adults living in the United States have a disability. Businesses that strive to make their marketing and other web materials accessible could potentially convert approximately 61 million people into clients.

The Nucleus Research study found that 90 percent of the 73 blind or visually impaired survey participants called customer service to report an accessibility issue. When they received no results, they had no choice but to find another company with accessible online tools to complete their business transactions. Nucleus also tested hundreds of e-commerce, news and information and government websites for accessibility. The study found that 70 percent of these sites had certain “critical blockers,” making them inaccessible to visually impaired users. Critical blockers vary by industry. For example, many e-commerce websites have unlabeled form fields and buttons.

Based on these numbers, you may be missing out on a big opportunity to grow your business by tapping into an underserved segment of the workforce. Disabled consumers cannot receive the services they need from financial advisors and other institutions if they don’t have access to the same websites as nondisabled consumers.  For example, a research study found that 63.6 percent of the 162 blind adults surveyed reported that accessibility issues prevented them from accessing a banking/finance website or mobile application. 76.5 percent of the survey participants needed sighted assistance conducting their business transactions with their bank or other financial institution.

Ensuring the accessibility of your website will ensure clients with disabilities will want to do business with you. Accessible websites and mobile applications provide access to printed materials for the visually impaired and give people with other disabilities the opportunity to conduct business transactions. It is important when providing access to blind or visually impaired clients to remove all critical blockers from your website and mobile design, including web layout and smartphone applications.

Composed of professionals with vision loss, Outlook Business Solutions provides accessibility testing for organizations and companies. Skilled technicians – people with disabilities -– test various aspects of your online/digital platforms and provide suggestions you can implement to ensure your content meets with ADA and WCAG guidelines. We can help you make sure your website can be used by the disabled, giving you an opportunity to expand your client base. Visit our accessibility services page to learn more.

Related: How to Make Your Advisor Website Accessible to People With Disabilities