The state of online banking in the Americas

In South America, more than four million students now use smart ID cards that combine eBanking with identity, online access and digital signature for their university life. The program was developed by Santander Universities Global Division of Banco Santander using Gemalto eBanking and multi-application bankcard technologies. Universities can also use Gemalto’s Dexxis Instant Issuance personalization solution to enable on-site card delivery.

This university smart card (USC) is in use in 200 universities around the world including programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Uruguay.

The Gemalto multi-application card verifies students’ identities and grants them access to university premises such as libraries, dormitories and sport facilities. 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. As part of the program, students are offered the option to use their card as a Banco Santander EMV debit card.

The university smart card features the digital signature capability to enable students, staff and teachers to electronically sign documents. In addition, bearers of the card can access public transportation in major cities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Spain.

When the program was introduced, Vicente Prior, director of Smart University Cards at Santander Universities Global Division, Banco Santander, cited Gemalto’s global presence as a key factor in the program’s success. “Their global presence is a unique asset that will assist us wherever we deploy the university card,” he said.  Spain-based Banco Santander is one of the world’s largest retail and commercial banks.

In Mexico, Consultoría International Banco (CI Banco) announced the rollout of Gemalto’s Ezio Server and OTP tokens to enhance eBanking security for CI Banco’s customers. As in Germany, this program complies with the latest national regulatory standards, in this case those set by Mexico’s CNBV (“Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores”).

Mexico is rolling out EMV now, but it is not yet fully deployed. Thus, one very important aspect of the CI Banco program is that they needed a flexible and comprehensive architecture for the eBanking rollout. The solution was Gemalto’s Ezio Server. It provides a complete, future-proof solution with the possibility to deploy multiple authentication devices such as EMV cards, connected or unconnected card readers or tokens, mobile phones and other devices.

In the United States, mobile banking is becoming more popular.  According to the Nielsen Company, mobile Web banking in the U.S. has grown to more than 13 million mobile subscribers by the end of 2010.  This is an increase of 129 percent since 2008.

Regarding mobile banking, David Gill, senior director of mobile marketing at The Nielsen Company said, “People who are comfortable using their mobile phones for mobile banking tend to check their mobile bank site twice a week. These customers are already highly engaged and eager for real-time solutions based on their specific needs.”

Also see the online banking situation in other parts of the world in previous posts:

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