The banking giant, the eighth largest in the world, has partnered with Orange for the development and introduction of the first NFC payments solution to support cards issued by both Visa and MasterCard.
Banco Santander, the Spanish arm of banking giant Santander Group, has announced the world's first NFC payments service that allows users to load credit and debit cards issued by both Visa and MasterCard onto their mobile phone.
The new service will allow customers to shop with their phone at any Visa or MasterCard merchant equipped with an NFC-compatible contactless terminal anywhere in the world and, because the service supports both credit and debit cards, they will be able to make purchases for any amount.
The service is being pilot tested initially at the bank's Ciudad Grupo Santander headquarters complex in Madrid as well as in stores in the city's Boadilla del Monte area.
Pilot participants will be issued with BlackBerry NFC phones that they can load with a selection of MasterCard and Visa "cards". They will then be able to select the card they wish to use each time they make a purchase at a restaurant, retail store or vending machine as well as manage their passwords and access their accounts through a link to Santander's mobile banking platform. A range of information services, delivered via NFC smart posters, will also be available.
The Santander Group is the world's fourth largest bank by profits and eighth by stock market capitalisation and has operations in Spain, the UK, Portugal, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The system was developed in collaboration with mobile network operator Orange as well as Oberthur Technologies, payments processor Redsys and POS terminal maker Ingenico as well as RIM, Visa and MasterCard.