The obvious answer to this question is that blind people need Braille keys to use the keyboard. Legally speaking, this is true only if one is blind and using a drive up ATM from a taxicab. Oh by the way, that’s the law. Most of us do realize; however, that a customer cannot walk up to an ATM a drive up window at a bank or any other drive up service window for that matter. So, there are other economic reasons as to why there Braille keys are present on all ATM keyboards.
Most keyboards are manufactured by U.S. owned companies with our own technology. Therefore, economically speaking, it is prudent for nationally owned banks to buy quality products which can be used at all locations. This also helps production for companies like IBM which produces keyboards, as they can keep product flow steady to banks as well as other purchasers. The same keyboards can be used at national, retail establishments like Wal-Mart, Target, or anyplace that has self service counters. Also, most financial institutions have walk up ATM’s at selected locations which can use the same keyboards. These places all must provide Braille keyboards for the blind and disabled. Therefore, it costs less to both produce and buy these keyboards. To make keyboards without Braille keys would require specially manufactured products. This would cost the buyer more and slow company production to make these specialty products.
Economic prosperity for the buying and selling of keyboards depends upon consistency of consumption and production. Making keyboards at a low cost with a steady flow to consumers enables businesses to make a decent profit and enables consumers who purchase these products to operate at peak efficiency while generating business at their prospective retail and commercial locations. This translates to less surcharges and transferable costs to the customer and lower overall prices to the end user of these keyboards. Obviously, this is a more cost effective and beneficial economic scenario for all concerned.
Anytime a business, whether it be a corporate, retail or financial company can offer the customer a better product at a lower cost it will stimulate demand for that product. Also, supply economics will benefit from higher demand resulting in lower production costs. The overall economy is now stimulated by the production of Braille keyboards for every drive up ATM out there. If you think about it, but not for too long, this is a major contribution to our society by the blind, especially those in taxicabs. On a more serious note, employment in keyboard factories would also rise since they would need more people to make more keyboards.
Of course there are only so many businesses, financial institutions, grocery stores, schools, etc., operating in this economy to use so many keyboards no matter how efficient and beneficial they can be. So, the rest of the economic situation, including the people had better get with it or we all could be on the outside looking in while holding our precious keyboards so safely in our hands.