Here’s why credit and debit cards have dots and notches – Reuters

You may have noticed that every time you get a new credit or debit card, it comes with a new set of features. The cards often have changes to their appearance, such as cut-out notches on one side, raised dots on the main side, and the owner’s name written instead of embossed.

Most people assume that the changes are made to improve security, and while some of the features may serve that purpose, the above changes are made for a different reason that you wouldn’t expect.

According to The Mirror, these changes are made for the same reason: to make them easier to use for blind and partially sighted people.

If you go back 10 years, most debit and credit cards were similar in style, size, and functionality. As a result, many blind and visually impaired people had difficulty locating them in their wallets, as they were difficult to distinguish from similarly sized store cards.

More than 2 million people in the United Kingdom (UK) are visually impaired. In response to the problems faced by blind people, banks, together with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), have launched these services to help blind people use their cards correctly.

NatWest and Sister Bain RBS introduced debit cards with a notch on the edge in 2015. MasterCard providers, for example, have separate sizes for debit and credit cards, according to RNIB chief operating officer David Clarke.

Braille dots, for example, indicate whether they have a debit or credit card. According to the National Health Service, around two million people in the UK have some form of visual impairment, of which 340,000 are blind or partially blind. This led the banks to approve these new card changes.

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Dennis Alvarado

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