How does a blind person use their credit card?
An intriguing question
This is a question that hadn’t occurred to me before. I’m doing an audit this week for a travel company and part of the process is making a booking and paying for it. My testers will use the company credit card of course, I provide them with the details in advance. One of my testers, who I will call Mary, said she was glad I was able to do that because she did not know how she would be able to use her own. She is completely blind and is a master’s degree student. She and her family come from Nigeria.
It got me thinking, how do blind people use their credit cards? One of my clients runs a piano shop, both he and his business partner are blind and they use telephone banking all the time to pay their invoices and that makes sense but what about buying online?
A recent experience
I asked Mary about it and she shared a recent experience with me.
“On E commerce shopping, honestly Amazon is what I regularly use and that is because you can get everything there! Although my sighted friend assisted with saving my card details.
For other website or app I always need a sighted person to help with that which can be annoying sometimes.
A good example, is what happened to me this morning. I was running late for my nurse appointment and an Uber ride was my best option.
In my Country, Nigeria, there is the option to make a transfer, so I thought it was the same here. However, I found out you can only use your debit or credit card. Mind you, I was out already and definitely was not ready to ask any stranger around to assist with such a sensitive detail into the uber app.
So I had to call my nurse explaining why I was running late and we moved up the appointment. So definitely, Uber lost 5 pounds from me today because they did not consider alternative ways to ensure I feel secured in putting my details into their app for a ride.
Additionally, I think there are some apps that some of my blind friends in Nigeria use in reading sensitive information, but I have never gotten around exploring such yet.”
I suppose Google Pay and Apple Pay might be one solution but if you do not have that set up, then you are stuck.
Just offer an alternative!
As I said in my TEDx Talk last week, website accessibility comes down to being able to offer an alternative and I wonder if Uber could offer an option for blind people to use their card for a contactless payment at the end of the journey? Food for thought anyway.
I looked through my image library to see if there was an image of a blind person using their credit card and I felt the screenshot I took probably says it all!
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