Banco Santander SA is offering customers of its Brazilian banking unit a multifunction payment card from Gemalto NV.

The Amsterdam smart card maker said Thursday that it is delivering the cards to several Brazilian universities, which provide them to students, teachers, and staff.

The product functions as a school identification and access card and a Santander debit card; it adheres to the Europay, MasterCard, Visa security standard.

Gemalto said the cards are the first in Brazil to combine these features.

The Madrid banking company said it expects more than 100,000 people will be using the cards in Brazil by yearend. The multifunction cards are offered through its universities unit.

Besides standard debit capabilities, the cards can offer campus access services, such as entry to buildings, library book checkout, cafeteria purchases, and payments for other student expenses.

Luis Cohen, Gemalto's director for the finance market in the south cone, said in a press release: "Universities can customize the cards with the mix of applications that best fit their students' needs. In addition to more secure access control to campus buildings and facilities, other functionalities could include loyalty programs that give students points or discounts when they use certain services or payment programs."

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