ANZ rolls out new debit cards for vision impaired

Alison Banney 25 October 2017 NEWS

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ANZ will be adding the new accessibility features to its 3.4 million Visa debit cards from today.

ANZ has today started rolling out its new Visa debit cards, which include a range of accessibility features to assist vision-impaired Australians with their everyday banking needs. The bank announced the cards back in November 2016 and was the first Australian financial institution to offer cards for vision-impaired customers.

The new Visa debit cards will include tactile indicators, larger fonts and high visibility leasing edges so vision-impaired customers can more easily identify their card and can identify which way to insert their card into ATM and EFTPOS machines. ANZ will begin rolling out these new features across its 3.4 million Visa debit cards from today.

The new cards also come with the same contactless payment features, including the ability to tap and pay wherever these payments are accepted. They also work with Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay, which are all offered by the bank.

ANZ senior manager of everyday banking Steve Price said, "We know that one in five Australians lives with a disability of some sort, so it’s really important we develop products all our customers can use conveniently. We have a commitment to inclusive design and accessibility standards in all aspects of our product development, so the extension of these features to a further 3.4 million cards is a significant part of delivering on that."

This move is in comparison to rival CommBank, which in July was slammed by blind groups around the country for its Albert EFTPOS terminals which are virtually inaccessible for vision-impaired Australians. Because of the touchscreen terminal on its 75,000 plus Albert EFTPOS terminals, blind and vision impaired Australians cannot see the screen and therefore cannot enter their pin number without assistance.

"People who are blind are being asked to divulge their pin number to a retail staff member to make a payment. This is totally unacceptable, no doubt breaches the terms of their (CommBank) credit card agreement and is probably against the law. I cannot complete transactions which other Australians make ten or twenty times a day," said executive officer of Blind Citizens Australia, Emma Bennison at the time, about the Albert EFTPOS terminals.

Just last month, the RAB released the new Australian $10 bank note into circulation which also included features tailored towards those with a vision impairment. The note, along with the new $5 note which was released in September 2016, includes small bumps so vision-impaired consumers can read the note's value.

ANZ said the new accessibility features will be rolled out across its credit cards next month in November.

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