Spanish financial institution utilizes Gemalto solutions for its university ID card program

AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE) - Mar. 03, 2009-- Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, today announced it is providing Banco Santander, a major European financial institution, with new technology for its well established university identity card program in Spain. The company is supplying its high-end Optelio cards that offer EMV payment, multi-application identity for digital signature, strong authentication and secure contactless access to facilities. In addition, Gemalto delivers its strong authentication software solution to enable digital signature applications. These are implemented and supported by Acotec, a Gemalto Value Added Reseller (VAR) in Spain. University Politecnica Catalunya (UPC) is first to rollout out this technology in the country. In addition to Spain, Banco Santander is currently running its university identity card program in Latin America, Morocco, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Santander manages several million cards in use at 200 universities, 48 of which are in Spain.

As part of the program, students use their card as a Banco Santander EMV debit card. Spain, and many countries around the world, are migrating payment systems to the more secure EMV standard. Students can also use their card for a wide variety of services and applications. The new digital signature functionality allows students and professors to conveniently sign documents electronically, while at the same time helping universities comply with new laws requiring their use.

The contactless features on the Gemalto card enables secure access to buildings such as libraries, dormitories and gymnasiums. Students also use the card for secure access to the campus electronic networks, to pay in cafeterias, take out books from the library, store grades and personal documents, pay for laundry and photocopies, and for other student expenses. The university card is also used for students to gain access to public transportation in the cities of Burgos, Lerida, Malaga and Santander.

"We are proud to see the first implementation of EMV cards incorporating public key digital signature in a Spanish university.

University Politecnica Catalunya (UPC) is leading the way to large-scale deployment of digital signature applications in Spain," commented Vicente Prior, smart cards director of "Santander Universidades Global Division" del rea Tarjeta Inteligente de la Division Global Santander Universidades. "We believe that this initiative will deliver better and faster services for students and will contribute to streamlining UPC's electronic processes by reducing internal paperwork."

"With its university cards containing Gemalto technology, Banco Santander is bringing more convenience and security to students in Spain,"

added Philippe Cambriel, Executive Vice-President of the Secure Transactions Business Unit at Gemalto. "Gemalto is proud to support Banco Santander in contributing to the EMV migration in the country."