Video - Accessibility barriers: How you pay using electronic payment terminals

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Fade in

Beginning title sequence

The title, Accessibility Barriers: How you pay using Electronic Payment Terminals, appears on screen.

A payment terminal drops in on screen to the right of the title.

Scene 1


Title transitions to a wide scene of an older client sitting by themselves at a table in a restaurant, finishing their order. A server walks over to hand the client a payment terminal to complete payment.

NARRATOR V.O: Imagine finishing up at a restaurant and the server hands over the payment terminal…


The client pulls the terminal closer to their face, squinting in an attempt to read the total value of the transaction. The client asks the server to verify the total.

NARRATOR V.O (CONT’d): but you have trouble verifying the total amount and have to rely on the server to tell you the total.

The client attempts to complete payment without clearly seeing the buttons on the terminals, unknowingly entering a large tip.

NARRATOR V.O: You then try to navigate the terminal to enter a tip, but instead, you accidentally enter and accept the wrong amount…worth hundreds of dollars.

Cut to:

Scene 2


Wide shot of younger client at a self-checkout at a grocery store. Scene cuts to view the self-checkout over the client’s shoulder, which illustrates the complexity of the checkout screen.

NARRATOR V.O: Or, you’re at the grocery store ready to pay. You can make out the terminal, but can’t navigate the instructions, let alone understand what the terminal is telling you to do next or just how much you owe.

Scene cuts back to view the client, who is scratching their head to illustrate their confusion.

Scene pulls back to show a line-up of other customers forming. Out of frustration, some customers start tapping their feet, crossing their arms out of discontent, while another looks at their watch with frustration.

NARRATOR V.O: A line-up of other clients starts to form behind you, and you can sense that they are starting to lose their patience.

Scene cuts back to the client at the self-checkout, and we hear a subtle alarm from the kiosk. The client begins to sweat out of anxiety and embarrassment. The self-checkout screen turns red with the words “Time out” written over the entirety of on the screen.

NARRATOR V.O: Anxiety melds into humiliation as the terminal blares aggressively. You feel like everyone is staring at you before finally, the machine times out.

The client inserts their payment card into the terminal to start the payment process again, but the payment terminal declines the card while flashing “Wrong PIN”.

Out of desperation, she turns to ask the customer behind her for help, handing over her card and stating her personal identification number (PIN).

NARRATOR V.O: You initiate the payment process again, but this time your PIN doesn’t work. In a moment of desperation, you ask the complete stranger behind you for help, handing over your card, and revealing your PIN


Scene quickly cuts to a person wearing a mask (to resemble a burglar) sitting at a computer, using the PIN to steal the client’s identity.

NARRATOR V.O (CONT’D): — suddenly making you vulnerable to fraud.

Scene transitions back to the grocery store where the client completes her transaction and proceeds to leave the store with her grocery items.

NARRATOR V.O: All of this, just so you can get your weekly shopping done.

Cut to:

Scene 3


Scene divides into four quadrants - each corner illustrates a different electronic payment terminal at a retail counter to emphasize the variety of terminals in various retail environments.

NARRATOR V.O: You may not think twice about using a payment terminal in your daily lives, and you probably haven't noticed that each one is built a bit differently — from varying screen displays to keypad layouts, or even how these devices are installed,


Scene cuts to a woman in a wheelchair who approaches a checkout at an unidentified retail location, unable to reach the terminal located on top of a high sales counter.

NARRATOR V.O (CONT’D): which now that you think about it, always seem to be just out of reach

Scene cuts to show various types of payment terminals as they appear on screen one by one, illustrating the unique features of each device.

NARRATOR V.O: But these seemingly small changes can turn the simple task of making a purchase into a nerve-wracking experience.

Scene cuts to a woman standing alone at a sales counter, ready to pay. Two walls fall on either side of her as the scene around her fades and grows darker. A spotlight shines on the woman from above, emphasizing the feeling of isolation and exclusion.

NARRATOR V.O: For individuals with cognitive impairments, or people with other physical, hearing or visual disabilities, these barriers are a part of everyday life. For many of these individuals, using electronic payment terminals can be one of the most stressful and isolating moments of their day, increasing their likelihood of experiencing…


Unable to use the payment terminal, the woman walks away from the terminal and the spotlight, leaving the store.

Scene cuts to the woman walking outside without any of her items that she wanted to purchase at the sales counter.

NARRATOR V.O (CONT’D): social and financial exclusion.

Scene cuts to four hands appearing on screen, each holding one form of cashless payment (a credit card, smartwatch, smartphone, and debit card).

NARRATOR V.O: As society moves closer towards cashless payment methods, the more critical this issue could become.

Scene cuts to a group of individuals, some of which depict persons with disabilities including, a woman in a wheelchair, and an older man with vision loss.

NARRATOR V.O: There’s a transformative solution to this issue: inclusive design that puts people first.

Scene transitions to display four payment terminals with new features including: louder volume controls; larger screens with text turning larger and in bold; keypads that have similar placement; and terminals with a longer security cable to improve the terminal’s reach.

NARRATOR V.O: This can include payment terminals that speak, with louder and clearer volume that cuts through the noise of crowded public places; screens that have higher contrast with larger fonts; standardized keypads so people can memorize number placements; and built so that people can recognize and reach the controls without hindrance.

The four payment terminals hover above the previous group of individuals to emphasize their ability to provide features for all persons, regardless of ability.

NARRATOR V.O: Most importantly, these devices should be designed to ensure that people can confidently use these devices no matter where they are, or how they choose to pay.

The following three scenes occur rapidly, each one following quickly after the other:

The first scene cuts back to show the woman in the wheelchair paying at a coffee shop with an accessible counter (so that she can reach the terminal). Viewers hear beeps from the payment terminal indicating the transaction was successful.

The second scene cuts back to the woman at the grocery store, this time confidently completing a transaction at a self-checkout.

Finally, the last scene cuts back to the older client in the restaurant, this time reassuringly entering a tip on a terminal without worrying if they have made a mistake.

NARRATOR V.O: We have the power to build a better future, where everyone can pay independently, securely and with dignity.

Scene fades and transitions to display the following disclaimer, “This video was developed as an educational resource to increase awareness and understanding of barriers persons with disabilities experience while interacting with electronic payment terminals.”

Fade out

Video with audio description

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