Bespoke Merchant Solutions

How to Create an Inclusive POS System for Visually Impaired Customers

At Bespoke Merchant Solutions, we believe in creating a seamless experience for all customers. We’ve developed this guide for all retailer businesses to use and implement.

As the return of in-store shopping has emerged due to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, it’s especially important for merchants to be aware of customers with any visual impairments and make a conscious effort to create a more inclusive Point of Sale (POS) system. To assist in this effort, the industry has begun taking steps towards accessible design.

Mastercard announced in November last year that they planned to release a new selection of Payment Cards in early 2022 and will utilise notch designs to allocate and distinguish certain payment methods before inserting them into a POS system. Each design is as follows: square notch for debit, rounded notch for credit, and triangular design for prepaid methods of payment.

According to the research done by Mastercard, Touch Cards (which uses implemented Braille) are not universally used by those with visual impairments, which the notch design intends to rectify by streamlining. Not only does the design appear to be utilised already by Barclays, but the success of the design is proven through security. Through symbols, identifying which card is correct does not need to resort to asking strangers for help.

This begs the question, what can you do, as a merchant, whilst the industry is advancing towards accessibility and inclusivity?

1. Awareness

Visual impairment is a wide spectrum, while there can be symbolic indications (e.g., guide dog, specific lenses, accompanied by a carer/friend) it may not be the case for everyone. While knowing when to help may be a judgment call, approaching the situation with the intention to help can always help assess the situation.


2. Introducing yourself

While there are aesthetical options to indicate staff (e.g., uniform or nametag) this may not be so readily accessible for some customers. Introducing yourself in a calm manner, and emphasising your occupation within the business, can help customers know you’re here to help if required. This may especially ease customers who may be in the busier periods of the day.


3. COVID-19 instructions

In specific scenarios, you may need to instruct the customer on the designated social-distancing positions within the store, be sure to also use descriptive instructions. If you have specific sanitisation procedures for using Card Machines, then make that clear to the customer. It may also be beneficial to ask if the customer would like any equipment doubly sanitised/cleaned.


4. Ensuring accessible payment options

By utilising the latest updated Fintech, specifically POS systems, you can enable visually impaired customers to use Tap to Pay software in both Android and Apple iOS systems. Developments in Near Field Communication (NFC) means that a chip can use contactless payments from someone’s mobile phone or device. This will ensure that a customer does not have to resort to unexpected payment methods, and simply a swipe to pay.

At Bespoke Merchant Solutions, we’re dedicated to staying ahead of the curve in Fintech technology. We provide the most up-to-date products that can enable contactless payments for those who may need them. If you have any other queries on how you can further generate an accessible payment environment, then get in touch with us.

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