Digital security specialist, Gemalto has worked with Santander Universities deploy more than one million Optelio contactless EMV cards this past year for Banco Santander Brasil. These University Smart Cards (USC) are issued to academic institutions throughout Brazil and, according to Gemalto, represent the largest card deployment of its kind in South America.
The Gemalto-Santander solution combines the security of EMV with the speed and convenience of contactless transactions using MasterCard PayPass features. The credentials also offer a range of features including digital ID for access to university facilities, as well as a variety of everyday features and student services.
Students at Brazil’s Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, PUC-Campinas for short, were among the most recent adopters of the Gemalto contactless cards. The multi-application card allows students — who also have the option to bank with Santander if they so choose — to access their bank accounts and make low-value purchases at contactless readers.
Brazil has the world’s second largest contactless payment network, with around 1.5 million NFC-ready terminals in place throughout the country. Students are also eligible for exclusive discounts at participating bookstores, restaurants and study centers. According to a release from Gemalto, there are currently more than three million Santander University Smart Cards in Brazil alone.
“University Smart Card is an important tool for financial inclusion for young people, as well as a technology enabler to academic activities,” says Marcelo Tangioni, products vice president at MasterCard Brazil and South Cone. “The student already has an extremely busy life and he needs useful tools that make their daily tasks simpler. These cards provide a great support at the beginning of the student’s financial life.”
Banco Santander, through Santander Universities, issues the University Smart Card (USC) in conjunction with 302 academic institutions. Santander Universities, meanwhile, has acted the bank’s higher-education hub since 1996, maintaining some 1,200 agreements with universities and research centers worldwide.