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RBS and NatWest Launch Accessible Cards For Partially Sighted And Blind Customers

In the UK alone there are over 2 million people living with sight loss making lots of everyday tasks, including banking, difficult and frustrating. Following feedback from a partially sighted customer, RBS and NatWest have introduced a new accessible debit card.

RBS and NatWest are now launching new accessible debit and savings cards which have been specifically designed for blind and partially sighted customers.

To address some of the common problems that blind and partially sighted customers face, the cards will:

  • feature braille markings to identify which card is savings and which card is debit
  • have a notch cut out on the right hand side of the card to help customers insert their card into ATMs and PIN pads correctly
  • show telephone numbers where they will be most clear
  • have large font on the back of the card to make the phone numbers easier to read

RBS and NatWest’s new cards can initially help their 15,000 customers registered as blind or partially sighted. All other features of the card remain the same – this card can be used in ATMs, at point of sale and for Contactless transactions home or abroad. The cards can be ordered in all RBS and NatWest branches, online or through telephone banking and will be issued within 48 hours.

This is the first banking product designed especially for blind and partially sighted people. RBS has worked closely with the Royal National Institute of the Blind in the development of this card and in recognition of this work the new debit and savings cards will be the first banking products to be awarded the new national quality assurance mark ‘RNIB approved’.

Ross McEwan, CEO of RBS, said: “We want to be recognised as a bank that listens to its customers and responds to their issues. It’s really important to me that we make banking as simple and easy as possible for all of our customers and our accessible cards are another step towards us earning back the trust of the public.”

Steve Tyler, Head of Solutions, Strategy and Planning at RNIB said, “We are delighted to have worked with RBS on making savings and debit cards more accessible.  The very basic requirement of identifying the right card and quickly determining which way the card slots in to a machine or payment system has been solved by this development. Simple as it is, creating a card with tactile indicators that identify the card type as well as the way in which it should be used, is an engineering challenge, particularly to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt machinery.  We look forward to working with RBS in to the future and enhancing even more of the daily payment challenges that blind and partially sighted customers experience.”

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