Banking: what you need to know about accessibility

There are a range of steps that banks can take to make their services accessible for you.

Make sure you have a good understanding of your own needs before shopping for a bank as not all banks offer the same accessibility options.

Products change very quickly, it’s always worth doing your own research, work out what’s important to you, and consider what you need from a bank.

Here are some of the adaptations and modifications banks may offer, you will need to contact your bank directly to find out how they can support your needs.

Modified Bank Cards

  • You can get bank cards which have a notch cut out to identify which way you put it in the chip and pin or ATM
  • Coloured cards to be able to identify which bank card is which
  • Photo cards to assist with identification
  • Large Print cards
  • Braille dots to help you identify between accounts
  • Contactless, there may also be an option to switch off contactless
  • ‘Chip and Signature’, you will be asked to sign a receipt instead of using chip and PIN’

Modified Bank Statements

  • Online option
  • Large print black font white paper
  • Large print black font yellow paper
  • Braille (remember to request a standard statement in addition to the braille version so that you can present it to bank staff in the case of an issue)
  • Audio CD

Approved Mobile Banking Apps

There have been huge improvements in the accessibility of banking apps, many are now accessible on mobile devices and smartphones. You can look for AbilityNet accredited apps to check they have been independently assessed by the UK charity.

What else is available?

  • Cheque templates – a plastic overlay which tells you where and what to write in each section of your cheque, so you can write your cheques independently.
  • Card signing template – ensures your signature is within the designated box on your debit and credit cards.
  • Talking ATM’ – Cash points that give you audible instructions on how to use them by plugging in headphones to the headphone jack/socket on the machine.

Keep security in mind

Not every product a bank offers will be suitable! A signature stamp may seem like a good idea but unless you have somewhere safe to keep it, you could be at risk from having your signature stolen, leaving yourself open to being the victim of fraud.

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