As a wheelchair user, I face access problems every day. Because I am used to my situation, I work around it and find ways to do things a little differently. Although I have many blind friends and fellow fashionistas, especially users of the Fashionability audioboo channel that I contribute to, I can’t fathom how they get around many things, because I’ve not had to live with sight loss.
My friends astound me with their independence and the way they firmly embrace life. For me, a shopping trip is not complete without my plastic friend in my purse, and even then I end up giving the wrong card or putting in the wrong pin. The RNIB estimate that there are 2 million people in the UK living with sight loss. It is this, and their dedication to all of their customers that have prompted Natwest to come up with a new, more tactile card with blind and partially sighted people in mind.
The new cats have tactile markings to identify the cards, a notch to show what direction to insert the card into an ATM and a large print phone number on the back. They are the first cards to be made specifically for partially righted people and are endorsed by the RNIB.
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 trust.”
Steve Tyler, Head of Solutions, Strategy and Planning at RNIB said, “We are delighted to have worked with RBS on making debit and savings 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.”