Smart Card Guidelines

Literature and application forms

For people with a visual impairment, the standard methods of advising customers about a new service may not be effective. Therefore, is it necessary to produce information leaflets and application forms in a range of alternative formats, such as large print, braille, audio tape and electronic text file.

Training in use of the system

Training or on-site assistance should be provided to help new users understand the terminal and learn how to use it.

Terminal environment

The path to the terminal must be free from obstacles such as steps, bins or signage that would obstruct the progress of users who are either walking or using a mobility aid such as a wheelchair or motorised buggy.

Physical user interface

Users should be able to access buttons and keypads, input slots for cards or money and dispensers for tickets, receipts or returned money.

Labels and instuctions

Labels on or around the terminal need to be positioned so that they can be comfortably read. This requires adequate illumination without unnecessary reflections.


Users should be able to distinguish the smartcard from other similar cards.


Ensure that the method used for cardholder authentication is accessible.


The term display can encompasses anything from a single line lcd display through computer monitors to large public information display boards, such as those used at railway stations to indicate train times. As far as possible, you should ensure that information presented on these displays is accessible.


The language that is used for things such as operating instructions, button labels and displayed information should be clear, unambiguous and easily digested.


Buttons, keys and knobs should be accessible to users who are blind, partially sighted or colour blind.


Touchscreens should be designed in such a way that they are usable by people with a visual or motor impairment.

Retrieving output

Users who are blind, partially sighted or colour blind should be able to perceive all of the outputs from the terminal. The outputs include any information that is presented and any physical items that are delivered, such as tickets, cash, receipts and returned cards.

Lost and stolen cards

For many users, there is real concern about the possibility of losing their card. They need to know the limit of their liability and what to do to obtain a replacement.

Alternative service

If the terminal meets all the previous priority guidelines and there are still people who cannot use it, it is important to ensure that the services it provides are available through an alternative channel.


International standards on the procedures that should be followed when making smartcard services accessible. From Austrailia, America, Britain, Canada, Norway, Japan and the European Union.