Leading Spanish bank BBVA has added a new feature to its wallet app that enables users to remotely control their debit and credit cards from their smartphone.
The latest version of BBVA Wallet allows users to fix spending on each card, limit card use to either e-commerce or physical stores and temporarily block the card if it is lost or stolen.
The bank, which is moving strongly into mobile payments under chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez, claims the new feature is a first for the Spanish market.
“The new version of BBVA Wallet turns our customers’ smartphones into a remote control to do whatever they want with each one of their cards”, said Mehmet Sezgin, head of global payments systems at BBVA.
Consumers can set up or limit the use of each card, or use the card just for e-commerce or transactions in physical stores. Users can even deactivate the card in the case of a trip abroad, or fear of theft. However, the bank does not explain what happens in the event the user’s smartphone is stolen, since that would potentially give thieves remote access to users’ credit and debit cards.
The wallet app was launched in December 2013 and has been downloaded more than 570,000 times. It was rolled out in Chile this year, where the app allows users to manage credit card transactions and make mobile payments via smartphone. The app will soon be rolled out in other regions, such as the US and Mexico.