HSBC UK has teamed up with Alzheimer’s Society to design a new range of cards with features that will support people with dementia, as well as visual impairments, learning difficulties and dyslexia.
The vertically-designed cards inlcude an arrow at the top and carved out notch at the bottom to indicate which way the card should be inserted into readers and ATMs. Tactile raised dots are also used to help the visually-impaired to differentiate credit cards from debit cards and personal bank cards from business ones
In terms of visual design, the new cards boast flat printed card numbers, better contrasting colours and a larger font to ensure card details are easier to read.
In line with a global programme announced in April, the cards will be made of recycled PVC plastic (rPVC).
Maxine Pritchard, head of financial inclusion and vulnerability at HSBC UK, says: “Many of us often struggle to tell the difference between our credit card and our debit card or read our card details as the numbers wear off over time. These challenges are experienced daily by customers with disabilities.
“Making our cards accessible is a priority for us, so we wanted to ensure we incorporated key features that will help customers with a range of abilities and needs. What’s more, these features will be available for all our customers as standard.”
Morven Lean, senior strategic change manager at Alzheimer’s Society says there are an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.
“Everyday banking tasks that so many of us take for granted, even something as simple as knowing which way around the card goes, can become a real challenge," she says. "These accessible cards are an important step to ensure people living with the condition feel supported and treated as equal members of society."
In a similar move to HSBC, Nationwide Building Society last week began issuing ‘dot and notch’ embossed and recycled bank cards that are certified by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).