What help is there for handling money and paying with cash?

Handling cash can be a challenge if you're blind or partially sighted because it's often difficult to tell the difference between denominations. There are products that can help.

Notes

  • Note gauges: You can ask your bank for a note gauge, which will allow you to work out the difference between notes.
  • Note checker: You are also able to purchase your own note checker from our online shop. The note checker works by simply inserting the note lengthways until it fits into the checker.
  • Note detector: Alternatively, you can get a note detector, which is a small device that identifies different notes and lets you know by using a unique vibration for each denomination. It will detect the £5, £10, £20 and £50.

There is also a version to identify Euros for when you're out of the UK.

You can purchase these products from our shop or by calling 0303 123 9999.

If you prefer not to use products to identify your bank notes, perhaps "The Arthur Pearson method" is better for you. Simply slide the note between your first and second finger. The ten pound note will be the same length as the first finger, the five pound will be shorter, and the twenty pound longer.

Obviously not everyone has the same length fingers, but with a little experimentation you can find what is right for you. The big problem may be ensuring that you have a £5, £10 and £20 note for comparison all at the same time!

The new polymer bank notes will also have tiered sizing, and the new £10 and £20 notes will each have a tactile feature created by a series of raised dots. The £5 note will be distinguishable by the absence of the feature.

Coins

RNIB has a range of simple coin holders including £1, 50p, 20p and 10p coins. These all cost £1.27 and can be purchased from our shop or from our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

There are also coins holders which act as key fobs, in addition to storing your coins. These can also be purchased from our shop or from our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

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