Beirut, Lebanon: Mastercard and Ajman Bank have strengthened their commitment to inclusion through a new initiative designed to expand access to the digital economy. The world-first Touch Card is an accessible payment card that will allow blind and partially sighted people to easily facilitate payments and distinguish between their cards.
There are few effective ways for those who are blind or who have reduced vision to quickly determine whether they're holding a credit, debit, or prepaid card, particularly as more cards move to flat designs without embossed names and numbers. Mastercard is addressing this challenge with a simple innovation and has introduced a system of notches on the side of the card to help consumers use the right card, the right way.
“At Ajman Bank inclusion is an integral aspect of our corporate culture and social responsibility. Innovation has the power to change the world for the better. We are delighted to partner with Mastercard to be the first movers to help drive this innovative solution that will help us to respond to everyone’s needs. For visually impaired customers, selecting the right card can very often be a challenging experience. Touch Card allows consumers to quickly distinguish which card they are using through the three distinct notches. We’ve always appreciated Mastercard’s vision for thinking of new ways to innovate and do things differently to serve more people,” said Mohamed Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Ajman Bank.
Moza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development said: “Accessibility is a human right and this latest initiative by Mastercard will open new possibilities for the inclusion of individuals with visual impairment into the digital economy. Ajman Bank’s collaboration with Mastercard will make daily life easier for a lot of people. It aligns with UAE’s social and community goals to promote an inclusive environment for everyone by tapping into the infinite power and potential of technology to enrich people’s wellbeing regardless of their capabilities.
“It is our firm belief that no one should be left behind in our quest for a digital future. Thanks to the power of innovation, we are driving financial inclusion and access to digital services by connecting everyone to the digital economy. The world is being changed for the better by early adopters, and it is our honor to join hands with Ajman Bank to design a rewarding solution that simplifies life for people in the UAE who are blind or partially sighted,” said Khalid Elgibali, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, Mastercard.
The Touch Card has been designed to work with point-of-sale terminals and ATMs, ensuring they can be deployed at scale - the credit cards have a squarish notch; debit cards have a rounded notch; and prepaid cards have a triangular notch. As well as blind and partially sighted consumers, anyone in a low-light environment or reaching into a wallet or purse one-handed can benefit from the Touch Card design.
The Ajman Bank Touch Card further offers benefits to suit each cardholder’s unique needs, including cash back benefits of up to 10 per cent that can be selected from across four categories: fuel, online spend, groceries and school fees.
According to the latest available data, 15% of the global population experience some form of disability, constituting the largest minority group in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that, globally, at least 2.2 billion people have sight problems. A recent Mastercard study, Bridging the Disability Gap: An Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact, revealed that digital inclusion is the pathway to financial inclusion for persons with disabilities. It highlights that there is a clear opportunity for the industry to work collaboratively to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.
Mastercard’s concept has been vetted and endorsed by The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK and VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the US. The card was co-designed by IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity, providing trusted solutions in the physical as well as digital space.