HSBC launches card partnership to improve accessibility

HSBC is partnering with Alzheimer’s Society to design a new range of cards with features that will support people with dementia, as well as visual impairments, learning difficulties and dyslexia.

The cards, which will replaced the existing design, have already started to be rolled out to customers, and are part of the banking group’s efforts to promote financial inclusion.

In a statement HSBC said that the new features have been designed with feedback from existing customers in mind and will be available to all customers regardless of whether they have a disability.

The accessible card features include:

- An arrow at the top and carved out notch at the bottom to indicate which way the card should be inserted into readers and ATMs

- Tactile raised dots to differentiate credit cards from debit cards and personal bank cards from business ones

- Flat printed card numbers, better contrasting colours and larger font to ensure card details are easier to read

The new cards are also made from 85 per cent recycled plastic as part of a global HSBC programme to eliminate payment cards made of single-use plastic.The bank has previously announced plans to achieve net zero in operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.

Maxine Pritchard, head of financial inclusion and vulnerability at HSBC UK, said: “Many of us often struggle to tell the difference between our credit card and our debit card or read our card details as the numbers wear off over time. These challenges are experienced daily by customers with disabilities.

“Making our cards accessible is a priority for us, so we wanted to ensure we incorporated key features that will help customers with a range of abilities and needs."

Morven Lean, senior strategic change manager at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We’re delighted to be working with HSBC UK to help customers living with dementia live as independently as possible. Everyday banking tasks that so many of us take for granted, even something as simple as knowing which way around the card goes, can become a real challenge. These accessible cards are an important step to ensure people living with the condition feel supported and treated as equal members of society.”

She added: “With an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, as the UK’s leading dementia charity, we are constantly working to ensure the rights of people affected by dementia are recognised. Through our work with banks like HSBC UK, we can make the biggest difference in supporting people with dementia, so they can live and participate in their local community.”

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