Mastercard’s New Card Is Accessible For Blind and Low Vision Customers Through Geometrically Shaped Notches

Posted inCulturally-Related Design

Figuring out which credit or debit card to use might seem like second nature—green debit card for coffee, blue credit card for gas, dark green card for groceries. And while this process seems effortless for some, for the visually impaired, figuring out which card to use isn’t as simple as identifying by color. 

To become more inclusive and accessible, Mastercard has designed cards with differently shaped notches so that all of its customers can effortlessly determine the correct card to use. For example, each card features different cuts at the opposite end of where the chip is—credit cards feature a circular incision, debit cards have a square notch, and prepaid cards host a triangular notch.

Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer and healthcare director, partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People in the U.K. to guarantee that the design was genuinely accommodating for the visually impaired population. 

Fascinatingly, the company had the foresight not to implement Braille, not just because brands are moving towards a flatter and more minimalistic design. Instead, they based the decision on the fact that of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in America, only 10% can read Braille.

The cards will become available to U.S. customers at the beginning of 2022, and hopefully, the brand will continue to develop more inclusive features.