Accessible Bank Cards & The Changing Landscape of Banking

For a number of years now many financial institutions throughout the world have been rolling out “accessible” bank cards designed to assist low vision and blind customers. The cards, which generally feature tactile markings, a notch to show what direction to insert them into an ATM and larger font make banking and everyday purchases much simpler.

ANZ bank card with tactile markings

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.

ANZ was the leader in Australia being the first to add accessibility features to its cards in 2016. Their cards feature tactile indicators that help orientate and identify cards, larger font and high-visibility edges to help with inserting the card properly. Most of Australia’s banks have followed suit and accessible style cards now seem to almost be the norm.

Shifts in banking in the wake of Coronavirus predicts the end of cheques, fewer ATMs and a regulatory push to lower electronic transaction fees.

Bank Card with tactile markings
Fewer consumers are now using cash due to their concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic and some retail outlets are rejecting cash payments completely, with many displaying signs requesting card payments only.

RBA assistant governor Michele Bullock has suggested that it is likely that a large part of this behaviour will become a permanent change in behaviour. Banks are considering closing the cheque system because electronic conveyancing is now the norm, with few remaining uses for cheques, with the shift to electronic transactions perhaps not a difficult as people envisaged.

Making payments online with credit card and laptop