Toronto, ON – October 8, 2020 (World Sight Day) – Canadians with sight loss will soon be able to make purchases on their own with reduced risk of compromising the security of their personal and financial information. CNIB is working together with Moneris Solutions Corporation (‘Moneris’), and supported by the Government of Canada, to create an inclusive and accessible shopping experience for everyone.
“Every day, hundreds of thousands of Canadians with sight loss are forced to rely on others to help them make payments, surrendering their financial independence. Imagine having to choose to share your PIN with the cashier or with the stranger behind you in line for help, or walk away from buying your groceries," says John M. Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB. “Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, we’re looking forward to working with Moneris to overcome this significant barrier.”
Existing payment terminals often require customers to rely on visual cues for information, which creates a barrier for Canadians with sight loss. Common barriers include touchscreen devices without tactile features, machines without verbal prompts as well as inconsistent user interfaces.
“Currently, I am unable to make in-person payments using my credit card without sighted assistance because I have no way to verify, finalize or adjust the amount of payment by myself," says Rocky Serkowney, a Toronto resident who has been blind for 20 years. "Occasionally, I still use cash, but as more businesses are going contact-free, I am increasingly faced with having to give up my privacy and independence because of the inaccessibility of existing payment terminals."
Through consultation with the disability community, Moneris will upgrade their software to provide improved accessibility features, such as increasing the font size, increasing the brightness, inverting the colour contrast and requesting audio feedback.
“Moneris is committed to inclusivity and ensuring all Canadians have the ability to protect and manage their financial independence,” said Angela Brown, President and CEO, Moneris. “We are honoured to work with the CNIB to ensure that we understand the needs of the blind and partially-sighted community in Canada in order to provide an inclusive solution for businesses across the country.”
Moneris is one of the few payment processors in Canada that develops its own payment terminal software solutions for both in store and online. This capability allows the company to work with organizations like the CNIB to build and enhance payment solutions quickly. Moneris will provide accessibility enhancements to its terminal solutions at no cost to its merchants’ customers.
“Investments and partnerships through the Accessible Technology Program enable Canadians to participate fully in their communities, workplaces and the Canadian economy,” said the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. “Accessible payment terminals not only provide individuals with personal security and financial independence, but also address significant barriers to inclusion faced by Canadians who are blind and partially sighted. I thank the CNIB and Moneris for their commitment to disability inclusion.”
The improved terminals are expected to be available for business owners in Spring 2021. With input from Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, this will become Canada's most accessible payment terminal for community members living with sight loss.
About the CNIB
Founded in 1918, CNIB is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. To learn more, visit cnib.ca.
Moneris is Canada’s largest provider of innovative solutions for mobile, online and in-store payments, processing more than one in three transactions. Serving businesses of every size and industry, Moneris offers hardware, software and solutions to help transform the way businesses grow and operate, in payments and beyond. For more information, please visit www.moneris.com and follow @moneris.
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