BBVA brings novel card with dynamic CVV code to Spain

October 21, 2020.
People walk through Plaza Mayor square in downtown Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

People walk through Plaza Mayor square in downtown Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain’s  debuted a unique card lacking a CVV code, card number and expiration date in its home country, beefing up security by requiring cardholders to retrieve a dynamic code and the other information through its app when making an online purchase.

The Aqua line of cards employs cloud-based technology and advanced cryptographic algorithms to generate ever-changing CVV codes for customers, preventing potential fraud should the card be lost, Spain’s second-largest bank by assets said Wednesday.

BBVA’s card, which is on the Visa network, can simultaneously be used for debit, credit or prepaid purchases. 

The bank is also working to bring the card to Mexico over the next year, and customers in Turkey will soon receive the dynamic CVV, after already having gained access to a version of the card without the physical codes or card numbers.

“The goal is to bring this same experience to other countries like Peru and Colombia as well,” BBVA said.

As the first bank in Spain to distribute cards made from recycled plastic, BBVA added that the Aqua line continues this trend, which the bank said advances its environmental goals.

BBVA hopes Aqua card users will also take advantage of other services recently made available through the app, such as contactless ATM withdrawals — which are also possible through the card itself — and a feature displaying businesses and platforms where a customer’s bank cards have been registered.

“This initiative goes beyond the launch of a card,” said Gonzalo Rodríguez, head of business development at BBVA in Spain. “It is a new experience for our clients. When they first access the app, they will find the most popular services to facilitate their banking experience; they will have greater control of their expenses; they will be able to choose the payment method they want and have greater security in their online purchases.”

In August, the bank’s customers executed 4 million transactions electronically, a 14% rise from a year prior. BBVA surveyed 1,000 customers in Spain at the end of last year and found that security, planning and control of expenses and products, and flexibility to execute a variety of tasks on mobile were their top card and digital banking priorities.

The use of dynamic CVV codes is on the rise globally, according to Visa. For card issuers, benefits can include a cost-effective introduction and low back-end implementation lift. The technology can also eliminate the need to reissue cards in the event of a data breach, the company said.

BBVA’s card also builds on the bank’s recent efforts to improve e-commerce security. Last month, the bank became the first Spanish financial institution to “massively deploy” to 1 million customers a new two-factor authentication process for online purchases mandated by European payment regulations PSD2.

BBVA has also pursued a number of online-focused efforts recently, including through its introduction in August of a fully digital account transfer and enrollment system that allows new customers to migrate from other financial institutions remotely, which the bank said was a first in Spain. And in June, the company unveiled a new software development process to support the demands of digital banking.

Last month, BBVA increased its full-year revenue forecast, reflecting a better-than-expected recovery in its Mexico business, which had been dampened by COVID-19. That market is the bank’s second-largest, after Spain.

--Additional reporting by Beth Newhart