The card will present the user with a variety of new functionalities, combining both Visa payment capabilities with university ID features, including access to library services and entry to buildings across their campus. However, in order to activate the card students will need to link it to a new or existing Santander Student Current Account, which will then enable them to use it as a method of payment. A photo of the student will also be displayed on the card for its identification purposes.
The card is currently undergoing its first UK trial, and has been issued to 2000 first year students at the University of Roehampton. Already in use by over six million students at 262 universities around the world, the latest launch marks its first appearance in the UK, with plans to roll out the scheme to more campuses in 2014.
Simon Bray, deputy director, Santander Universities UK, said: "The new Student Smart Card will be a valuable tool for students as it helps to simplify student life.
"The card has proven a great success in many countries where Santander has a presence worldwide and we look forward to introducing this to many more Universities in the UK."