RNIB slams Visa over ATMs for blind people

RNIB has slammed Paralympics sponsor Visa for failing to provide “talking cash machine” facilities for blind people at the Olympic Park.


RNIB has slammed Paralympics sponsor Visa for failing to provide “talking cash machine” facilities for blind people at the Olympic Park.

The financial company Visa committed to installing upgrades to cash machines on the Olympic Park which would provide audio facilities after RNIB threatened legal action under the Equalities Act earlier this year. Legal proceedings were halted after Visa pledged to convert two of the eight on-site cashpoints into “talking ATMs”.

It is understood that Visa failed to make the upgrades. RNIB says it is “extremely disappointed” after working with Locog for the past three years to ensure that the Olympic Park was fully accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

Visa cash points on the park include braille and tactile keyboards in lie with all UK high street cashpoints.

Steve Winyard, head of policy and campaigns at RNIB, says: “RNIB has always campaigned for the right of blind and partially sighted people to have control of their own money and be able to access it just like a sighted person. This is why we launched our Make Money Talk campaign last year calling on all UK banks to provide ATMs with audio facilities for their customers with sight loss.

“We believe it is only fair and reasonable for banks to provide ‘talking ATMs’ across their networks and especially at sites where everyone else has the luxury of 24/7 access. Already Barclays and Lloyds have agreed to this and we expect two more banks to make a similar commitment in the near future.”

The charity says that if blind or partially sighted people are experiencing difficulties using the cashpoint facilities at the park, it will prove them with assistance.

There are currently 69 “talking ATMs” in the UK, while there are 100,000 in the US – the equivalent of one in four.

Visa says it was “not feasible” to add audio functionalilty to the cash points in the short timeframe after RNIB raised the issue in June.

A spokesperson for Visa Europe says: “Visa has been a global sponsor for over 25 years and takes seriously the responsibility to provide robust, safe and secure ATM provision for all visitors to both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visa is committed to addressing the needs of blind and partially sighted people in using ATMs in the UK and will work with our member banks and RNIB going forward to improve accessibility.”

Visa has previously angered consumers over its monopoly on card payment and cash machine services at the Olympics that meant only Visa cardholders could purchase tickets and only its cards can be used to make purchases at Olympic venues.

Updated 12:40

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here