M&T Bank introducing app aimed at helping those with cognitive disabilities

M&T Bank announced this week that it is launching a free app dedicated to making the world a more accessible place for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.

In collaboration with Magnusmode, M&T Bank will create new digital guides that provide visual cues and step-by-step instructions to help people access fundamental banking services. Available through the MagnusCards app, M&T Bank’s digital “Card Decks” are designed to increase banking accessibility for those with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.

“Launching M&T Bank’s MagnusCards will help us create a more inclusive, welcoming bank and expand our capabilities to meet the unique needs of our diverse community of customers,” said Sonny Sonnenstein, chief information officer for consumer, business and digital banking at M&T Bank. “We are excited to work with Magnusmode — not only because they’re an inspiring local startup, but also because their product is incredibly intuitive and well-designed to support our customers.”

Using digitalized “Card Decks,” the MagnusCards app guides users through tasks and activities that might otherwise feel challenging or overwhelming.

As Magusmode’s first U.S. bank partner, M&T Bank is offering an expanding “life skills library,” which provides practical guidance through storytelling card decks helping users navigate daily tasks and experiences, such as making ATM transactions and using a debit card for purchases. It uses applied behavior analysis methods, offering prompts and positive reinforcement to support experiential learning.

In addition to banking and money management, the app provides accessibility support for public transportation, health care, shopping, school and other places and activities people need to access as part of their daily lives.

M&T’s Disability Advocacy Network, an employee-led group that advocates for the needs of people with disabilities, identified MagnusCards as a potential opportunity for the bank, and guided its implementation and launch, working alongside M&T’s technology team and colleagues throughout the bank.

“Our MagnusCards will help people count money, use their debit card to purchase things, withdraw cash from an ATM or teller and deposit cash and checks into an ATM,” said David Zolnowski, president of DAN’s Western New York chapter and a parent-advocate whose son has Down syndrome. “Each of these essential guides will be extremely helpful to people with disabilities.”