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Barclays Launches New Reader and High-Visibility Cards to Help Elderly and Disabled Customers

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This article has been submitted by Barclays

In a UK banking first, Barclays has today announced that it has launched a new card reader and an improved high-visibility debit card to help older and disabled customers.

With over 5m people experiencing some form of sight loss or dexterity issues*, these developments will help customers access services more easily and further protect them from fraud.

A card reader, or ‘PINsentry’, is a small handheld device that provides an extra level of protection for customers logging into online banking from home or verifying themselves within a bank branch. Following feedback that some customers, particularly older ones, found the card reader difficult to see and use because of its size, Barclays has developed a fully accessible talking card reader with bigger buttons and screen to meet a broader range of access needs. This was tested in conjunction with customers and AbilityNet to ensure it was easy to use.

Barclays has also made an enhancement to its existing popular range of high-visibility debit cards. In addition to the high contrast and brightly coloured designs and tactile notch for easy orientation, the three-digit security number on the reverse of the card has been made bigger after customers told Barclays they were struggling to see it.

Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays UK, said:

“We are always looking for new ways to support our customers and make their finances even more secure.

“Often it’s when you think about how to meet specific needs that you find solutions that help the widest range of people and customers, which is why we thread this thinking through every business decision we make. This new development is yet another example of how we are responding to the needs of our customers.”

Nigel Lewis, Chief Executive of AbilityNet said:

“As a leading advocate of accessible digital design, we know that putting the user at the centre of the design process delivers better products and services to every customer, not just people with disabilities. Barclays commitment to accessibility, shown most recently by the launch of the large card reader and improved high-visibility debit card, will have a positive impact on the lives of the millions of people who use their services every day.”

These new developments follow on from a range of UK high-street banking firsts by Barclays to help older customers and those with disabilities better access its services:

  • High-Vis Personalised Debit Cards – In January 2013, Barclays launched brightly coloured debit cards with contrasting-coloured arrows, so that they stand out in wallets and a tactile notch so that customers can tell which way to insert them. These cards are free to order via branch, telephone, online and mobile banking channels.
  • SignVideo – In 2015 Barclays became the first bank to offer instant access to British Sign Language interpreters in-branch, via a SignVideo app on branch iPads. It is also available via Barclays.co.uk, and the Barclaycard website, giving people access to telephony agents from the comfort of their own home.
  • Voice security – In 2016 Barclays launched voice security technology for all customers, meaning they no longer need to use a password to access telephone banking services.  Barclays also added finger-print security verification within their mobile banking app. Both of these technologies make it easier for customers to access their account, especially those who struggle to remember passwords.
  • Debit card hub – In early 2017 Barclays gave customers new levels of control over when, where and how their debit card works, offering customers the choice to instantly turn ‘on’ and ‘off’ whether their card can be used to make remote purchases and even set their own ATM withdrawal limits. This helps all customers to protect themselves from fraud by helping them stay in control of their money.