Mastercard and Amjan Bank launch the Touch Card

Monday 5 September 2022 13:04 CET | News

Mastercard and Amjan Bank have launched the Touch Card, allowing blind and partially sighted people to distinguish between their cards and make payments.

According to the official press release, the Touch Card is designed to work with point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs, ensuring they can be deployed at scale – the credit cards have a squarish notch; debit cards have a rounded notch; and prepaid cards have a triangular notch.

As well as blind and partially sighted consumers, anyone in a low-light environment or reaching into a wallet or purse one-handed can benefit from the Touch Card design.

The Amjan Bank Touch Card also offers benefits to suit each cardholder’s needs, including cash back benefits of up to 10% that can be selected from across numerous categories.

Mastercard’s concept has been vetted and endorsed by The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK and VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the US. The card was co-designed by IDEMIA, a provider of Augmented Identity, offering trusted solutions in the physical as well as digital space.

Financial obstacles for individuals with visual impairments

While individuals who are visually impaired are faced with financial barriers every day, there are resources and ways to tackle these barriers. Technology can be an additional barrier for those with sight loss, but it can also be a valuable resource. In a similar way that everyday money management tasks and finding financial assistance for health care and education do not need to be a cause for stress and worry.

Mastercard and Amjan Bank launch Touch Card, allowing blind and partially sighted people to distinguish between their cards and make payments.

For example, individuals with visual impairments need access to accessible ATMs in order to navigate through the necessary steps to withdraw money. Fortunately, accessible ATMs are becoming more popular in the US. There are currently more than 100,000 ATMs that can be operated using speech, and that number is growing daily. Many of the ATMs require a set of headphones to use the speech feature.

Still, only a quarter of ATMs in the US can be operated using speech. Advancements have been made in accessible banking. However, a majority of ATMs remain inaccessible to a person who is blind.

Barriers to financial inclusion

Global reports reveal that about 50% of adults are financially excluded. Meanwhile, 2.2 billion visually challenged persons globally stand to be financially excluded due to products that are not inclusive.

Financial exclusion of persons with disabilities takes many forms, beginning with physical inaccessibility. A combination of physical constraints in accessing financial institutions and services prevents many persons with disabilities from banking independently. A 2019 UN report cites data that show persons with disabilities consider 28% of banks in developed countries, and between 8% and 64% banks in some emerging economies, to be inaccessible.

If digital inclusion is the pathway to financial inclusion for persons with disabilities, there is an urgent need to reduce the gap in smartphone ownership, mobile internet use, and digital literacy. Digital skill literacy programs need to be made more inclusive to ensure their benefits reach those who need them most.

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Keywords: partnership, banks, product launch, payments , POS
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Amjan Bank, Mastercard
Countries: United Arab Emirates
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce

Amjan Bank



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