NatWest launches first credit card for blind and partially sighted people

  • New credit cards are the first to be accredited by Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
  • Tactile markings identify the card, with a notch to show what direction to insert into an ATM and a large print phone number on the reverse
  • RNIB estimate that almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss

NatWest is launching the first credit card in the UK which is designed for blind and partially sighted people and accredited by RNIB.

The cards have a notch cut out on the right hand side to help customers insert them into ATMs and PIN pads the right way. The reverse of the card has also been adapted to the needs of partially sighted, with the telephone numbers placed where no embossing will be and the font increased by more than 50% to make it easier to read.

The new cards will also have tactile markings to help customers identify them in their wallet. This feature is the same as on the RNIB-accredited debit and savings account cards which NatWest introduced in 2015, and different markings on each card will allow customers to tell which card is which.

All other features of the card remain the same – it can be used in ATMs, at point of sale and for Contactless transactions at home or abroad. The cards can be ordered in all NatWest branches, online or through telephone banking and will be issued within 48 hours.

Les Matheson, CEO of Personal and Business Banking at NatWest, said: “Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, but we think making payments and accessing cash should be as easy as possible for everyone. We have worked closely with RNIB and are very proud to have introduced the first credit card which is ‘RNIB approved’ – adding to our RNIB approved debit and savings cards and the first RNIB approved app.”

Steve Tyler, Head of Solutions, Strategy and Planning, RNIB, said:  “We are delighted that yet again, NatWest shows continued commitment to accessibility, this time focussing on access to a range of credit cards. Through tactile indicators, consumers can immediately tell what type of card they are using purely by touch. Although this is a simple idea – the implementation of it is no small undertaking given the uniformity in this area around card production and delivery. It shows a willingness by the bank to listen to its customers, understand the needs of diverse users and take action to deliver real and usable solutions.”

The NatWest credit, debit and savings cards are available to any NatWest customer by calling Telephone Banking on 0345 301 6079 or coming into a branch, for no additional cost. The debit and savings cards can also be ordered online.

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