Phygital payments: increasing access for everyone

Delivering accessible financial services for all citizens is not just the right thing: it’s increasingly a regulatory requirement.

Phygital payments: increasing access for everyone

As part of our series on the phygital payments future powered by leading PayTech specialists G + D, we look at how a blend of physical and digital payment technologies is making life easier and broadening access for everyone.

In its Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD), the UN states that, “accessibility is about giving equal access to everyone. Without being able to access the facilities and services found in the community, persons with disabilities will never be fully included.”[1]

Recognising the importance of this truth, and respecting the rights of the one in six people world-wide who live with some form of disability[2], governments across Europe and around the world have introduced legislation mandating the right of people living with disabilities for equal access to services of all kinds – including banking and payments.

“Governments across Europe and around the world have introduced legislation to enable equal access for all.”

Examples include existing legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the US, or the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Upcoming legislation such as the EU’s European Accessibility Act, due for implementation in 2025, seeks to achieve similar aims of accessibility for all, including how services of all kinds should be provided to ensure maximum accessibility in both the physical and digital world.

Physical + Digital = Possible

The emergence of new payments and banking technologies that combine the physical and digital is empowering financial services firms to offer their products to a wider range of people.

Some of the most innovative new payment services in recent years have been inspired by the drive to greater accessibility, such as QR-codes that access sign language instructions to help the hearing impaired with digital onboarding.

Another example of adaptations that help the visually impaired comes in payment cards that feature multiple accessibility features, such as notches, QR codes, large print and high contrast or brighter card bodies. Such small innovations are useful when customers come to select their cards from a physical wallet.

“Enhancing physical banking with digital solutions means centering product design on customer accessibility. Digital solutions should extend accessibility, not hinder it.”

Beyond physical innovations in cards and bank communications, there’s also great potential for digital banking to offer more personalized, accessible experiences for different customer groups.

For instance, specially-configured digital wallets for the elderly help them transition smoothly from the world of physical banking to digital. Digital wallets like these open up new financial freedoms for the more than 1.6 billion people who will be aged 65 or over by 2050[3].

Offering mobile banking apps with multiple authentication methods benefits all age groups while enhancing the protection of digital identities in payments and banking.

For instance, biometric passwordless authentications help to simplify the process of confirming identity for users who find it challenging to use keyboards, while secure remote onboarding via mobile phones or kiosk systems help consumers living with disabilities to take advantage of new digital products and services securely and efficiently.

In each of these cases, digital technologies are being used to enhance existing physical elements and create a payments ecosystem that’s fairer and more accessible for all.

Accessibility: more important than ever

As phygital systems make payments and banking more capable and efficient than at any time in social history, ensuring that everyone has access to the same systems becomes more important than ever.

Now that those living with disabilities have unprecedented access to public venues, shopping experiences and digital technologies for entertainment and shopping either in-store or at home, it’s vital that payments providers ensure everyone is able to access financial services equally.

Aside from the moral and social imperatives to improve access for everyone, increasing accessibility also makes sound business sense, since wider accessibility leads to greater product use and, by extension, improved revenues.

Find out more about how G + D is driving greater accessibility in phygital payments with suite of products and services available as a Service: Convego® Service Market – The Future of Card Issuance | G+D






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