Mastercard has extended its commitment to inclusivity by introducing a new accessible card standard for blind and partially sighted people, called the Touch Card.
There are few effective ways for the visually impaired to quickly determine whether they're holding a credit, debit or prepaid card, particularly as more cards move to flat designs without embossed name and numbers. Mastercard is addressing this challenge with a simple yet effective innovation.
Mastercard’s concept has been vetted and endorsed by The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the U.K.
The following FAQ's provide further information.
How do I get my card?
Please contact your bank to discuss The Touch card.
What benefits does it provide?
- Notches to help visually impaired consumers identify and orient a card – for swiping, dipping or inserting.
- Concept shapes to indicate card type – round for credit; trapezoidal for debit; triangular for prepaid.
- Differentiates bank cards from non-payment cards (membership, access, ID, etc.).
Why can’t I have braille on my card?
Braille is much larger than the printed information and there is not enough space on the card to include all the required information in braille.
Why can’t the font be larger?
There is a lot of information on the bank card that is required and it is not always possible to make the font larger.
RNIB’s guidelines specify that the font should not be any smaller than the current embossed cards and there should be sufficient contrast. The minimum font size specified for the 16-digit number is equivalent to 18-point Arial which benefits many people. Most other important information is equivalent to at least 14-point Arial which is considered to be clear print.
Why can’t all cards be black and white?
Black and white is a very good contrast and will ensure that the text stands out well. However, banks want to ensure that their cards stand out and are easily identified from other banks. Different designs and different colours benefit many people with residual vision.
Why can’t I just keep my embossed card?
Banks are making the decision to move to flat cards and not provide embossed cards anymore. RNIB can’t influence this, so have shared best practise guidelines to banks to ensure they understand the need for a tactile solution that ensures flat cards are still accessible for people who are unable to see the information on the card.
Why can’t you remove the signature strip and make the information larger
Some banks offer the option to have a chip and sign card and the signature strip is a requirement of this card.
If this is not required this can be removed however this is the discretion of the bank.
Why do banks move over to flat cards?
The embossing on cards that was required many years ago to make a carbon copy is no longer required, and this has allowed card providers the opportunity of changing the card design. Although this creates challenges for people who are unable to see the visual information, it allows flexibility with the visual design of the bank card which benefits not only visually impaired customers, but all customers as the information is bigger with improved colour contrast.