Accessible payments for all users

6 November 2019

Innovation in payment technologies, such as touchscreen devices, deliver convenience and security at point-of-sale for merchants and consumers alike. However, inclusive and universal design principles need to be front of mind when designing payments devices to ensure that no sector of the community is unintentionally excluded. To this end, AusPayNet is developing industry guidelines to ensure that touchscreen devices are easily accessible to those living with disability.

Fair access for all

The Australian Network on Disability reports 1 in 5 Australians have some form of disability. Vision Australia also estimates that by 2030, there will be more than 550,000 Australians living with low or no vision.

"Our role is to drive collaboration across the payments industry that benefits all Australians, including those with a range of disabilities. We want to ensure that the payments system is as accessible and inclusive as it can possibly be”, explains Andy White, AusPayNet CEO.

Better understanding the challenges

AusPayNet is progressing this initiative through a working group comprising a cross-section of member organisations including financial institutions and technology providers. A key focus has been consulting people with lived experience of disability as well as peak industry advocacy bodies for people with disability to better understand the challenges they face and their needs.

Our extensive consultation process involved workshops, one-on-one interviews and an online survey with over 250 stakeholders taking part. Workshop attendees included a range of peak advocacy groups, including Vision Australia, the Macular Disease Foundation, Guide Dogs Australia, the Royal Society for the Blind, Blind Citizens Australia, Deafblind Australia, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, the Digital Gap Initiative, the National Ethnic Disability Alliance, the Australian Network on Disability, and the Centre for Inclusive Design as well as the Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

The consultation uncovered that people living with vision and motor impairment can find it difficult to enter their PIN on touchscreen point-of-sale (POS) devices, not being able to see or feel the screen information. This often leads to limiting the value of purchases to under the $100 limit for no-PIN contactless payments or relying on others for assistance, which can compromise their privacy and security.

Five guiding principles for inclusivity

The findings have informed development of five guiding principles to assist in the assessment, procurement and design of touchscreen payment devices:

  • Embed accessibility into payment projects
  • Make equity and inclusion fundamental
  • Overlay security and privacy as critical factors
  • Consider the end-to-end user experience
  • Work to increase accessibility capability and awareness

These principles form the basis of the new guidelines for secure and accessible PIN entry on touchscreen devices. Importantly, the new guidelines align with the Australian Banking Association’s Every Customer Counts – Accessibility Principles for Banking Services and with other relevant frameworks including the Principles of Universal Design.

AusPayNet’s accessibility guidelines will be published in the coming weeks. Look out for our media release and please get in touch if you would like any further information.