RBS & NatWest offer first bank cards for blind and partially-sighted

RBS & NatWest offer first bank cards for blind and partially-sighted

RBS and NatWest have launched debit and savings cards designed specifically for visually impaired and blind customers across the UK, in response to a customer’s request. The new cards are the first banking product to be accredited by The Royal National Institution of Blind People (RNIB). 

Over two million people in the UK - around one person in 30 - live with sight loss making everyday tasks like banking, frustrating and difficult. 

Addressing some of the common problems that blind and partially-sighted customers face, the cards feature:

  • Tactile markings to identify which card is debit and which card is savings
  • A notch cut out on the right-hand side of the card to help customers insert their card into ATMs and PIN pads correctly
  • The reverse of the card has also been adapted with the needs of partially-sighted customers in mind. The telephone numbers have been placed where no embossing will be on the front of the card and the font has been increased by more than 50% to make it easier to read
  • 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.

Ross McEwan, CEO of RBS, said: “A year ago, one of our partially-sighted customers asked us what we were going to do to make banking easier for our blind and partially sighted customers. Today we are proud to announce the launch of our new cards."

RBS has worked with the RNIB 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’.

Steve Tyler at RNIB said, "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."

You can find out more about the cards here.

  • Find out more about the Yours Guide Dog, Keller here. Plus read how to stay independent after sight loss here.