Sistema 4B is a Spanish payment and cash dispensing system which is operated by a set of Spanish banks and other financial service organisations. It was first formed back in 1974 as a co-operative venture between some of Spain’s biggest banks: Banco Central, Hispano Americano, Banco Español de Crédito and Santander. Further Spanish and European financial partners have joined the network in subsequent years. The organisation was restructured in 2008, when the transactional service part of the organisation was spun off. This re-organisation was necessary to separate the service’s regulatory and financial guarantee responsibilities from its transaction services.
With around half a million different retailers and traders accepting the network’s payments, it runs one of the most widely accepted credit and debit card services in Spain. Both Visa and MasterCard brands are issued. Three different service models are offered: Immediate payment (much like a debit card); Monthly Payment (more like a charge card, where payments must be made in full at the end of the month or payment period), or Deferred Payment (similar to a conventional credit card).
The 4B System acts as a promotor for its members services, and also administers the service. As such, it is responsible for enforcing the regulations, arbitrating and regulating the system between its members, clearing inter-bank transactions and organising settlement. It also acts as a payment guarantor for customers and between member organisations.
Being a member and licensee of the both the Visa and MasterCard brands, it also enables its members customers to use their cards to buy goods and services throughout the world and online.
This payment system is unlikely to be encountered by customers outside Spain, but it is accepted internationally, including by many of the larger internationally operating online casinos.