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 but there are also other cards that might be easier to use if you're blind or partially sighted.

Most credit and debit cards use a 'chip and PIN' system to cut down fraud by asking you to input a four digit number into a key pad each time it's used. The numbers on the pad are arranged like a telephone and there is usually a dot on the number five key for orientation purposes. The "enter" key is usually in the bottom right-hand corner and is larger than the other keys.

Chip and signature card

If using a keypad is difficult then you can ask for a 'chip and signature' card instead. This is also known as a PIN-suppressed card. You can ask your card issuer for this type of card instead of a 'chip and PIN' card. All shops should accept 'chip and signature' cards because this is a reasonable adjustment to make to their service so that it's accessible to you.

Signature guides

We sell signature guides that can help you to use a 'chip and signature' card or signing other documents like contracts or terms and conditions.

Speak to your bank

There are several options available to bank customers who have difficulty accessing their own money. Some people prefer to have one card to use at cash machines and a second card to sign for things in shops. Or some customers may choose to have one card which does both functions. To find out more about all the different options available either call your bank direct or visit payyourway.org.uk, which has impartial, practical advice on different payment options, including chip and signature.

Alternatively you can request a leaflet in an alternative format by calling 020 3217 8259 or email press@paymentscouncil.org.uk

"RNIB approved" accessible bank cards

We have worked with RBS and Natwest to develop an accessible bank card. The card features a notch on the side of the card to indicate which way round it is, braille markings to tell you whether it is a savings or debit card and larger useful telephone numbers on the back. If you are a customer of Natwest or RBS, contact your local branch for more information or request a card through your usual online or telephone banking.

Find out more about paying for goods and services.

Debt Advice

If you are struggling to make payments to/clear your credit card balance, having difficulty reducing an overdraft and struggling with any other debts, it is important to address this as there can be options available. Please see the “Debt Advice” page to find expert advice regarding debt.

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