November 11, 2009 The ability to conduct financial transactions using bank notes is crucial to independent living. Yet this can pose significant challenges for individuals who are blind or partially sighted. This article discusses the Bank of Canada's efforts over the past 30 years to meet the accessibility needs of a specific subset of the population–Canadians living with blindness or vision loss. It also reports the findings of expert and user assessments of the suite of accessibility features on the current series of bank notes and shares plans for the next series.
Using data from a 2004 survey of the Canadian public, the authors study the role of convenience and risk in consumers' use of cash relative to debit and credit cards. The authors find that consumers who perceive debit cards and credit cards to be more convenient and less risky than cash use them more frequently.