How can blind or partially sighted people use debit and credit cards more easily?

Paying by credit or debit card is a popular way to pay for goods or services and there are different card options including:

Chip and PIN card

Most credit and debit cards use a system called 'chip and PIN'. Payments are authorised by inputting a four digit number into a key pad and pressing enter. The numbers on the pad are arranged like a telephone and there is usually a dot on key number five for orientation purposes. The 'enter' key is usually in the bottom right-hand corner of the key pad and is larger than the other keys. You should be able to request the PIN in your preferred format, just let your bank know. For further information on using chip and PIN see RNIB's Branch and ATM banking webpage.

Chip and signature card

If using a keypad is difficult then you can ask for a 'chip and signature' card, also known as a PIN-suppressed card, instead. All shops should accept 'chip and signature' cards because this is a classed as a reasonable adjustment to make their service accessible.

Contactless cards and devices

Most 'chip and PIN' cards are enabled with the contactless facility. Contactless is a fast, easy and secure way to pay for purchases costing £100 and under. Contactless payments can also be made via devices such as watches, smartphones and tablets.

Signing your card

Many banks and building societies now provide free signature guides. They are usually credit card-sized pieces of plastic with a cut out slot, which can be positioned over the signature line of forms and documents, to enable you to sign documents correctly.

Speak to your bank

There are several options available to you if you have difficulty accessing your money. For example you may prefer to have one card to use at cash machines and a second card to sign for things in shops. To find out more about all the different options available either call your bank direct or visit UK Finance, which has impartial, practical advice on different payment options, including debit and credit cards. More and more banks are adding this feature. You can also add a tactile marker of your own, such as a strip of tape or a dot of glue etc.

Please also see How can I make payments online?

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