1 million contactless cards rolled out across Brazilian universities

Spanish banking giant and digital security firm Gemalto have announced that together they have issued a million EMV cards to students over the past year.

Called University Smart Cards, the cards have proved popular across Brazil, with a total of 3 million in use across university campuses. Worldwide, they are used by 7.9m students at 302 universities spanning 12 countries, according to Gemalto.

Vicente Prior, Director of Products and Channels at Santander Universities, said that the bank’s partnership with Gemalto has helped to create a “culture of trust” in contactless technology, helping to normalise their use.

Marcelo Tangioni, VP of Products at MasterCard Brazil, whose PayPass features are also incorporated into the cards, described the project as an “important tool for financial inclusion for young people” and a “technology enabler to academic activities.”

He added: “The student already has an extremely busy life and he needs useful tools that make his daily tasks simpler. These cards provide a great support at the beginning of the student’s financial life”. 

There are currently 1.5 contactless card readers in Brazil, serving a population of 200m – making the country the most EMV-friendly nation in South America.


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