HSBC Launches New Card Range

New card range from HSBC enhances accessibility for visually impaired customers

August 14, 2021
HSBC Launches New Card Range
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HSBC UK has announced that it is updated its range of debit and credit cards, with the new designs aimed at being more accessible and easier to use for all customers.

The new range of cards have been created with the help of the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure that they address some of the issues that people with visual impairments can have, and at the same time looking at other ways to help people with learning difficulties or dyslexia.

The cards are also designed vertically, rather than horizontally, which reflects the changing way that customers are using bank cards now for cash withdrawals, chip and pin and contactless payments.

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Measures To Improve Accessibility

The new cards have introduced a number of measures to improve their ease of use. The first notable addition is the notch in what would previously have been the right-hand side of the card, although it’s now the bottom with the new vertical design.

This notch makes it easier for customers who have any visual impairments to know which way the card needs to be inserted into cashpoints and chip and pin machines. It also adds an extra level of tactility which can help anyone with motor issues to grab their card from wallet slots.

While the notch is located more to one side of the card, there is also a raised dot on the card to help users identify which way it should be held when inserted too. These dots are different on debit and credit cards to ensure that users also know which one they are using.

The new HSBC cards are also using larger numbers in contrasting colours, which makes it easier for customers to read them. These new numbers are printed flat, which gives the option of the larger font to make them stand out.

All new bank cards issued by HSBC will be in this new format, for all customers. According to Maxine Pritchard, HSBC UK’s Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability, said “no one should have to ask for adapted or different products and services.”

Many of us often struggle to tell the difference between our credit card and our debit card or read our card details as the numbers wear off over time. These challenges are experienced daily by customers with disabilities…Making our cards accessible is a priority for us, so we wanted to ensure we incorporated key features that will help customers with a range of abilities and needs.

Maxine Pritchard, HSBC UK

Nationwide also made a similar change to their own bank cards recently, including the dot and notch system.

Environmental Impact

Another change for the new HSBC UK bank cards is in the materials used. All cards will now be made from 85% recycled plastic, which the bank estimates will save around 30 tonnes of plastic waste every year.

In order to maintain this effort for sustainability, the bank has said that it will not be automatically replacing all cards. Instead, customers will only receive a card with the new design once their card expires, or if it is lost, damaged or stolen.

Andrew Cook
Andrew Cook
Hi, I'm Andrew and I am a news writer for CompareBanks. My main focus is on digital and online banks and looking at the banking landscape is changing within the UK and around the world.

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Mentioned Banks

About HSBC Bank HSBC is a British banking and financial services company. It is the largest bank in Europe and the seventh largest bank in the world. The bank originated in Hong Kong...
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About Nationwide Nationwide is a British building society and mutual financial institution. Headquartered in Swindon, it has additional offices in Glasgow, Bournemouth, Northampton...
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December 29, 2021

These cards have some severe flaws compared to the old ones, though.

The decision to print the numbers flat instead of embossing them means they can potentially be worn off or scratched and become illegible as the card ages.

The decision to print all the numbers on the back of the card now also negates the entire point of the three-digit security code; the whole point of the security code was that it was printed on the opposite side of the card to the account number, sort code and name, so that anyone wishing to steal the necessary information to use the card would need to acquire an image of both sides of the card; now that it\’s all printed on the same side, the security code is now completely ineffective.

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