Common banking tasks like depositing a check and using an ATM to withdraw money have been made more accessible to folks with autism, thanks to a new partnership between Huntington Bank and app Magnusmode.
Huntington this week became the second U.S. bank after M&T to partner with Magnusmode, a free app offering step-by-step guides for everyday tasks for neurodiverse people and their families. Outside of banking, some of these tasks include ordering food at a local restaurant or checking out a book from the library.
"Putting people first — our customers, colleagues, and communities — is at the very core of everything we do,” Huntington CEO Steve Steinour said in a prepared statement.
The relationship with Magnusmode helps Huntington “achieve our vision to be the leading 'people-first, digitally powered' bank for all customers,” Steinour added.
Magnusmode was founded by Nadia Hamilton, who was driven to make everyday tasks easier for her autistic brother, Troy.
Steinour learned about Magnusmode from M&T CEO René Jones and was intrigued by the concept. He signed on as a partner after a series of conversations with Hamilton.
Donald Dennis, Huntington’s chief diversity officer, told Banking Dive the bank is working with Magnusmode “because we believe that everyone deserves a shot at financial success.”
Huntington’s deck of cards includes guides on how to buy things with a debit card, use a phone to deposit a check, create an emergency fund, create and track a budget, dispute a transaction at a bank, open a checking account online and set up bill pay.
The guides feature two Huntington employees who joined the bank through its Autism2Work program, which has provided workforce training and employment opportunities for neurodivergent adults, including those with an autism spectrum disorder.
Autism2Work has onboarded 13 people across nine IT disciplines into the program since 2020.
The world, as it is, can be challenging to navigate for neurodiverse folks, Hamilton said.
“Community spaces, including banks, can be confusing, overwhelming and difficult for these individuals to navigate without assistance," she said. "As a society, we have the wonderful opportunity to welcome, engage and support people who are different and move through the world differently."
Inclusion “allows our business partners to grow in the marketplace,” Dennis told Banking Dive.
“It also creates and strengthens our communities,” he said. “Huntington is committed to looking out for people and helping ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed financially.”