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.

Chip and PIN card

Most credit and debit cards use a system called 'chip and PIN'.  Payments are authorised by inputting a four digit number into a key pad and pressing enter. The numbers on the pad are arranged like a telephone and there is usually a dot on key number five for orientation purposes. The 'enter' key is usually in the bottom right-hand corner of the key pad 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, also known as a PIN-suppressed card, instead. All shops should accept 'chip and signature' cards because this is a classed as a reasonable adjustment to make to their service accessible.

Contactless cards and devices

Most 'chip and PIN' cards are enabled with the contactless facility. Contactless is a fast, easy and secure way to pay for purchases costing £30 and under. Contactless payments can also be made via devices such as watches, smartphones and tablets.

Signature guides

We sell signature guides to use when signing for purchases made with your 'chip and signature' card or when signing other documents like contracts or terms and conditions.

Speak to your bank

There are several options available to you if you difficulty accessing your money. For example you may prefer to have one card to use at cash machines and a second card to sign for things in shops. To find out more about all the different options available either call your bank direct or visit, which has impartial, practical advice on different payment options, including debit and credit cards.

You can also request a leaflet from them in an alternative format by calling 020 3217 8259 or emailing

'RNIB approved' accessible bank cards

We have worked with RBS and Natwest to develop an accessible bank card. The special cards feature a notch on the side to indicate which way up it is, 3 or 2 verticle 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.

Technology Advice and Support

If you're not confident using your computer or getting online, contact our Helpline for in-depth phone support and one-to-one support in your home. 

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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