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HSBC joining the bank card accessibility push with new ‘vertical’ designs

Remind anyone of a certain teal-coloured competitor?



Banking giant HSBC is replacing all its UK bank cards with a new design that prioritises features to help customers with dementia, sight loss, learning difficulties and dyslexia.

Its new cards are also made from 85 per cent recycled plastic, which HSBC says will save 30 *tonnes* of plastic waste per year.

HSBC told AltFi that figure is based on the average number of cards it produces per annum, which some quick maths indicates that must be around 5-6m new bank cards.

Plus, the cards are shifting to a vertical design that prioritises the way most cards are held and used in 2021, a change that echos Starling Bank’s 2018 decision to move away from the traditional ‘horizontal’ layout of a bank card.

But the most brilliant change is undoubtedly what HSBC is doing for accessibility.

Not only is the bank adopting the ‘dot and notch’ system to help customers with sight loss that we saw Nationwide debut last week, but the cards also have larger numbers in contrasting colours and were designed in partnership with charities including Alzheimer’s Society.

“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,” said HSBC UK’s head of financial inclusion and vulnerability Maxine Pritchard.

“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.”

Similar to Nationwide,HSBC is making these new card designs the default for all customers, because as Pritchard puts it, “no one should have to ask for adapted or different products and services.”

But to be as sustainable as possible, the bank says it will only replace a card with the new design if it expires or is lost, stolen or damaged.

Two brilliant new card designs in two weeks. Let’s hope these are the first of many.

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