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Cards and disability issues

Cards for Disabled Customers

Anyone who has difficulty using Chip & PIN should talk to their card issuing company who will discuss card options with them; this may include using cards with signatures or making other arrangements. You will not be required to provide medical evidence to support your request.

For those people who do not have difficulty using PIN but who have a disability that may restrict them in other ways, the industry has worked to make the process of paying with a Chip & PIN card easier:

Please be aware that you should NEVER tell your PIN to anyone, or write down your PIN and keep it in the wallet that you carry your card in.

For the blind or partially sighted

All PIN pads need to follow a set design, so that the continuity is not broken. The vast majority of these PIN pads will have physical features including a raised dot on the 5 button. This layout will be familiar to most blind or partially-sighted people and should therefore make it easier to use.

In addition, there are two accepted formats for the primary ‘function’ keys - the ‘cancel’, ‘clear’ and ‘enter’ keys which will be located either to the right of or below the numeric keys. When there are coloured buttons, the ‘cancel’ key is red, the ‘clear’ key is yellow and the ‘enter’ key is green. Some PIN pads may have supplementary ‘function’ keys above the numeric keys, but these are not normally for cardholder use.

Generic PIN entry device

You are likely to come into contact with a variety of PIN pads wherever you pay by plastic. Some stores have PIN pads attached to the till via a wire and you will hand your card to the member of staff to be read, whilst other stores have PIN pads which contain integrated card readers, and you will put your card into the card reader yourself. Many PIN pads are designed to be picked up from their holders to make it easier and more secure for you to enter your PIN. You may also come across PIN pads which have been built into the shop counter, and in restaurants and bars the PIN pads are likely to be wireless so that you can pay whilst sitting at the table. Whatever the case, staff should always be able to help you through the process and answer any queries.

Please remember that no-one except you knows your PIN, and you should never disclose your PIN to anyone, including retail or bank staff. If you have handed over your card to a member of staff try to remain aware of what is happening to your card. Ask the member of staff to explain the process they are carrying out and contact your card company if you are at all concerned.

Lately, there has been a rollout of Contactless PIN pads in certain payment environments that may look slightly different to what a ‘normal’ PIN pad might look like. To see the selection of PIN pads available, and accredited by us, please see the PIN entry device library.

Manual Dexterity

Some people may have difficulty with entering PINs, particularly those with conditions like arthritis or cerebral palsy. People who have a disability that may affect their ability to enter their PIN should talk to their card issuing company to discuss alternative options.

For wheelchair users

Many payment environments will have a separate PIN pad attached to the till via a wire which allows a wheelchair user to pick up the PIN pad or remove it from its holder to use it comfortably and safely.

For those who may have trouble remembering their PIN

You can change your PIN to a different four digit PIN (that might be easier to remember) at a cash machine or by calling your card issuing company, but make sure that it’s a number that nobody else can guess.

If you have a disability and think you may have difficulty with Chip & PIN, you should talk to your card company who will discuss your options with you, which includes continuing to use cards with signatures or other arrangements you may currently have in place.

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