Cardless ATMs Come of Age

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A JPMorgan Chase cardless ATM in N.Y.C

A JPMorgan Chase cardless ATM in N.Y.C


Bank of America and Wells Fargo have been at the forefront of cardless ATMs in the United States although JPMorgan Chase has recently been catching up.

Banks are taking baby steps and introducing the feature interactively. In its pilot, Wells Fargo only activated a few hundred machines to allow cashless withdrawals but more recently activated the feature on all 13,000 it owns. Using it is cumbersome, however. Wells requires an additional eight-digit code from the Wells Fargo banking app in addition to the PIN in order to withdraw funds, although it says it plans to move to a system that worked in a manner similar to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay where the user simply holds the device up to a reader on the ATM.

That’s more how JPMorgan Chase’s system works, which we tested. JPMorgan supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay and says it can accomplish 90% of all ATM tasks without an ATM card. The bank’s user instructions say to tap the phone on the Cardless ATM symbol on the ATM even though the system uses NFC or near field communication.

Apple Pay required me to authenticate the transaction using a fingerprint (I have the new Apple 8+) and the ATM then requested my standard ATM PIN, even though the fingerprint really should have sufficed.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, especially for travelers. Banks in Australia, India, Poland, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom are all introducing cardless ATMs although we haven’t had the opportunity to test interoperability when using another bank’s cardless card.

Still, these systems are an important first step towards universal cardless ATM access, a feature that will be important until the idea of using cash starts to be as quaint as using a landline phone.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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