For the 2.2 billion people worldwide suffering from blindness or impaired vision, even the simple act of shopping can be an exercise in frustration. With no convenient way to tell one card in a wallet from another, and with raised numbers on card surfaces quickly disappearing from use, these individuals have had to rely on caregivers or strangers on the street to help them make purchases. Unfortunately, this interaction understandably poses significant financial and security risks.
All of that is about to change with the release of Mastercard’s new Touch Card feature. Designed in accordance with New York-based social services nonprofit VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in addition to other international organizations, the Touch Card will feature differently shaped notches cut into the side that easily indicate whether it is a debit, credit, or prepaid card.
The Touch Card feature is being hailed as a long-overdue accommodation that will help bring financial independence to more than a quarter of the world’s population. “For the visually impaired, identifying their payment cards is a real struggle,” said Mastercard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar. “This tactile solution allows consumers to correctly orient the card and know which payment card they are using.”