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Spain is pursuing financial inclusion in rural areas using prepaid cards and SoftPOS solution

21 aprilie 2022

From 2020 to December 31, 2021, customers with the Correos Prepaid card have carried out more than five million top -up and withdrawal operations at branches, which have moved a total amount of more than one billion euros. Currently, the total number of customers with an active Correos Prepaid card exceeds 639,600.

The Correos Prepaid Mastercard now allows you to have an associated IBAN number, so it is possible to carry out the basic operations of a bank account , be it collecting payroll or pension, paying bills for supplies and taxes or making national or international transfers, both standard as immediate. 

„This new functionality can help the financial inclusion of the elderly, immigrants and other groups with difficulties in accessing banking services and in rural environments where essential financial services have been reduced or even disappeared,” according to the press release.

The Correos Prepaid card, which only allows you to spend the amount of money previously loaded, is not linked to any current account , so it is a convenient and secure means of payment that allows control of the operations carried out. Users can pay with their card at more than 35 million points in the Mastercard worldwide network and withdraw cash at ATMs and at any office of the logistics company. It also has contactless technology ( contactless payment) and incorporates mobile payment through Google Pay and Apple Pay.

This card can be purchased at any of the 2,370 Correos offices or through the website www.correosprepago.es , and can be topped up at any post office or via the Internet (Correos website and Correos Prepago app) with a charge to another card or by transfer from any bank account. It is also possible to transfer money from one prepaid card to another immediately or make immediate transfers to any IBAN in the SEPA area.

For financial inclusion

Correos has already launched various initiatives and solutions with which the company wants to contribute to the financial inclusion of older people and citizens and companies in rural areas, for which it is relying on its great capillarity and geographical presence, with more 6,000 rural services and in more than 2,300 centers of products and services, which add up to a total of 8,381 service points throughout Spain.

The Correos Cash service stands out, which allows anyone to enter or withdraw money from their bank account through the offices and also send money to any address through postmen. The company currently has agreements with six entities to provide basic financial services to its customers: Banco Santander, Ibercaja, Evo Banco, Banco Mediolanum, Triodos Bank and Bancofar.

Contactless payments

Since last December, Correos has been offering many of the services that were only offered at the post office and are now available through its rural postmen. To make this possible, Correos has equipped its 6,011 delivery professionals in rural areas with portable electronic devices (PDAs), progressively expanding to more than 24,000 postmen throughout Spain.

The objective is that the residents of these towns, from the door of their house and without having to travel, can access services such as the purchase of blister packs of stamps, envelopes, packages of different sizes, pay bills for services such as electricity, gas or telephone, acquire the environmental labels of the DGT, pay for a shipment, a certificate or a cash on delivery purchase.

The solution of SoftPos.eu with Worldline creates a new paradigm in rural areas by simplifying the postman’s activity, since they will be able to use the Correos corporate PDA that includes the payment terminal, reducing costs and creating new opportunities for business relationships with these neighbors.

It is a perfect tool for all kinds of businesses with mobility needs: postal services, carriers, ticket inspectors, food delivery services, taxis, foodtrucks… The system is as safe as traditional terminals since they follow the specifications of the brands and the PCI-DSS and PCI CPoC regulations.

The heart of the solution is an app, developed bySoftPos.eu, which converts Android devices (smartphones and tablets) into a contactless payment terminal that simplifies and automates the collection and payment process in these areas, where there are normally no banks or ATMs, without the need for postmen to carry a point of sale terminal to use.

“The solution has been very versatile from the start, allowing customers to either use a stand-alone app or implement our payment module into their existing system. In addition, it is totally disruptive and will allow the development of new service and business models, both in cities and in rural areas.” comment Carlos Pérez and Javier de Villanueva, directors of SoftPos in Spain. „The agreement with Worldline goes much further -they add- because, together, we can work with all types of companies offering them a powerful, agile, economical and easy-to-use payment tool, supported, through Worldline, by the main issuers of cards and other means of payment in Europe and the world”.

The time of payment is key to closing the sale and more than 70% of purchases are frustrated when the system is not efficient and friendly or when the means of payment required by the customer is not available,” says David Valero, Country Manager Global Sales & Verticals Iberia of Worldline. „The Softpos and Worldline solution -he adds- is one of the greatest innovations in face-to-face payment methods in the last five years, it will allow us to offer our businesses to accept financial cards, using their own smartphone or tablet, reducing queues in the boxes and, therefore, improving the customer’s shopping experience„.

ATMs instalation

The installation of ATMs in branches is another of the initiatives developed to alleviate the lack of banking services in rural areas. The project started in early 2021 with the installation of 109 ATMs , which was later expanded to 20 more ATMs in towns with between 500 and 3,000 inhabitants. For the next few years, the installation of 1,500 more ATMs is planned, whose location is still in the process of being defined.

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Anders Olofsson – former Head of Payments Finastra

Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”

So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”

Many more interesting quotes in the video below:


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?