The first digitally signed debit and credit ‘super cards’ begin to circulate in Costa Rica


QCOSTARICA – A new generation of debit or credit cards with which you can pay for your purchases, use online banking services and even sign a loan, among many other possibilities, is starting to be a reality in Costa Rica.

The country’s leading exhibitor is the Bank of Costa Rica’s (BCR) Signum card, which features EMV technology with a contactless chip and digital certificate. (digital signature).

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In addition, this “super card” complies with the security measures required by the Central Bank and the MasterCard franchise for contactless payment methods.

Carlos Melegatti, director of the Central Bank’s Payment Systems Division, explained that in this way, it is planned to start spreading the use of digital signatures in the country.

The importance of the digital signature is that it electronically enables almost any service that currently requires it to be done in person with a physical signature.

Available in April or May

Guillermo Gayle, head of payment methods at the BCR, explained that the bank has been running a pilot plan since early 2020, with 175 smart cards issued.

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“Due to the covid-19 pandemic, we had to postpone the official launch of Signum last year; however, between April and May 2021, the product will be launched on the market, where customers can purchase the card, ”Gayle said.

What would happen in the event of theft or loss? Carlos Melegatti, director of the Central Bank’s Payment Systems Division, explained that just like any bank card reported stolen or lost, the impostor could not use the card.

In addition, there are other controls, for example, if the PIN code is entered incorrectly five times, the card is automatically blocked; and the PIN code is a number which can be from four to 13 digits.

So far, Melegatti said, no such incidents have been reported.

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