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America’s getting card-free ATMs, is your bank included?

(TECH NEWS) New ATMs hope to simplify automated banking and increase security, but are you comfortable ditching a tangible card???

credit cards

Cardless crusade

Apple Pay and Android Pay aren’t the revolutionary payment methods they sought out to be just yet, but other services are taking note.

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are joining the cardless crusade and will soon be introducing ATMs that run off a phone app, giving you one more reason to ditch your wallet for good.

App-operated ATMs

While cardless ATMs are nothing new, the technology has taken big steps forward in the past few weeks as a number of banks have announced plans for thousands of cardless machines across the country.

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America both announced they’ll introduce thousands of app-operated ATMs in late January, and Wells Fargo followed suit this week.

The Wells Fargo announcement is the biggest thus far, with an estimated 13,000 ATMs able to handle cardless transactions soon. This news makes Wells Fargo the first bank to convert its entire fleet to cardless.

The plan

Similar to machines in Europe, customers will open an app on their phone and receive a one-time, 8 digit code that they can then enter in the ATM.

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The machines still work with cards if you choose, but for customers who prefer not to carry their debit card or misplace, lose or have it stolen, cardless ATMs are an incredible advancement.

While the first cardless ATMs to hit the U.S. market may be somewhat clunky, future technology is being developed that will allow users to provide a fingerprint instead of a code, or even NFC-equipped ATMs, which will allow smartphones to communicate directly with the machines.

A new era for ATMs

One reason banks are adopting this method is to appeal to millennials, who less likely to carry multiple plastic cards than older generations. Another selling point, on top of convenience, is security.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Cardless ATMs negate the need for a card from which skimmers can steal information.” quote=”Most importantly, there’s no card from which skimmers can steal information, which is the most common way ATM theft occurs.”]

Incorporating fingerprints will also offer biometric security that will be much more secure than any pin method. Of course, as as cardless transactions gain in popularity, they will be an increasingly popular target of thieves, but they do provide an initial headstart for banks to rethink ATM security.

Going cardless… or not

While cardless options in stores are becoming more frequent, there is still a learning curve and pulling out a debit card tends to still be easier for customers than pulling out a smart phone. Like any new technology, that’s partially because of a learning curve and introducing more ways to utilize the tech is the only way to make users more comfortable with it.


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Written By

Brian is a staff writer at The American Genius who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and majored in American Culture Studies and Writing. Originally from California, Brian has a podcast, "Revolves Around Me," and enjoys public transportation, bicycles, the beach.

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  1. Pingback: Bully bank, Wells Fargo is accused of overcharging small businesses - The American Genius

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