AusPayNet releases equitable access guidelines for POS terminals


AusPayNet, the payments industry’s self-regulatory body, has released extensive guidelines, including five core principles, for ensuring equitable access on Point-of-Sale (POS) touchscreen terminals.

The Guidelines for Accessibility in PIN Entry on Touchscreen Terminals offer recommendations to FSIs in achieving equitable access to POS touchscreen terminals for individuals with vision and/or motor impairments.

AusPayNet said the guidelines are a “world first” in addressing universal access concerns around POS touchscreen technology for people living with disability.

While the guidelines remain voluntary, AusPayNet said it “strongly encouraged” its adoption by all payments providers and payments technology development.

AusPayNet chief executive Andy White urged “everyone involved in designing or buying touchscreen technologies for payments to keep the new principles top of mind.”

Among the principle focus areas in the guidelines include the use and development of tactile keypads, haptic and audio feedback aids, and PIN security support; however, the guidelines also offer a range of supplementary considerations to help payments developers ensure their terminals are universally accessible, including the use of gesture controls, virtual keyboards, and in the physical designs of touchpoints.

While comprehensive in scope, the payments regulator said its guidelines remain just a “starting point” in their ongoing work to enhance payments accessibility.

“The ability to enter PINs independently on touchscreen-only POS devices, without compromising personal security, can be challenging for some people living with disability,” White said.

“Our guidelines are a big step forward in helping overcome these challenges. It is our hope that the principles underpinning the guidelines quickly become the norm in the design and procurement of touchscreen terminals used in Australia,” he added.

According to the Australian Network on Disability, more than 4 million Australians, or 20 per cent of the population, live with a disability. Vision Australia estimates there are currently 357,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision, with this number projected to grow to 564,000 by 2030.

In developing the guidelines, AusPayNet consulted with more than 250 stakeholders, comprising people living with vision and/or motor impairments, representative bodies for the disability community, their networks and their supporters.

Peak bodies involved in the development of the guide include the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Centre for Inclusive Design, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, and Vision Australia.

The Guidelines can be viewed here.