Smartphones to replace cards at bank machines

February 21, 2016
credit card

Here's another use for the smartphone as it invades daily life: in place of your debit card at your bank cash machine.

The "cardless" automatic teller machine (ATM) is gaining ground in the US and around the world, with smartphone technology allowing for speedier and more secure transactions.

Dozens of US banks are installing new ATMs or updating existing ones to allow customers to order cash on a mobile application and then scan a code to get their money without having to insert a bank card.

US banking giants Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase are in the process of deploying the new ATMs, as are a number of regional banks and financial groups around the world. Makers of ATMs and financial software groups are ramping up to meet this demand.

"We think our model (using smartphones) reduces a lot of vulnerabilities," said Doug Brown, who leads mobile technology for FIS Global, a major provider of software and technology for ATMs.

Brown said the FIS cardless system is being used at some 2,000 ATMs operated by at least 28 banks in the United States "and we're looking to rapidly expand that."

He said the system should be operational at some 80,000 machines in North America over the coming 18 months. And similar changes are coming in other countries, according to Brown.

Reducing 'skimming,' fraud

In addition to speeding the transaction time, the smartphone-based system aims to curb the growing problem of "skimming" in which criminals steal the data on a card, often by inserting devices into the ATM card slot.

By some estimates, skimming cost the global banking industry some $2 billion in 2015 and can lead to other kinds of fraud when card data is stolen.

"Consumers are aware of this, they really understand and welcome this," Brown said.

Another security benefit, Brown said, is that authenticating on the handset reduces the time spent at the ATM to around 10 seconds instead of the typical 30 to 40 seconds

"The performance is kind shocking to some people, they almost jump back at the instantaneous response," Brown said. "But it provides more physical security because they can make the transaction faster."

Bank of America spokeswoman Betty Riess said the group is "currently developing a new cardless ATM solution" based on NFC or near field communication technology to allow customers to authenticate without the use of a card.

"We'll roll out this capability in late February to associates in select ATMs in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York and Boston." Riess said. "It will be followed by a broader customer launch mid-year."

Chase said it is planning a similar rollout sometime this year.

"When we first roll this out, customers will be able to request an access code through the Chase mobile app and enter it at the ATM to do their transactions," said Chase spokesman Michael Fusco.

"Later on, they will be able to use their digital mobile wallet to complete the transaction at the ATM."

Wells Fargo is also on board, developing ATMs that will allow customers to use their smartphones to obtain and eight-digit token to authorize a cash withdrawal.

The Wells Fargo system will support Android Pay, "and we'll continue to evaluate additional wallets," said spokesman Kristopher Dahl.

Chicago-based BMO Harris, an affiliate of Bank of Montreal, began using at its 750 ATMs last March.

'Headless' ATMs

Some of the new technologies will require only a software update to the ATM, while others will need new hardware.

ATM manufacturer Diebold is testing a "headless" teller machine, without a screen or keypad, which dispenses cash from interaction on the smartphone.

"What we are saying with this is forget the card reader, forget the PIN pad, we all have these devices in our pockets," said Dave Kuchenski, Diebold's senior business development manager for new technology.

Customers need only verify their identity, which can be done with the device's fingerprint reader, or possibly with an iris scanner on the ATM.

While some existing Diebold ATMs can work with mobile applications, Kuchenski said the new concept, in testing with Citibank and others, could provide "a better user experience."

"We don't have to walk through the same process which we have had since the ATM has existed," he said.

"If we're using a mobile phone, we no longer have the need for a card, we no longer have a need for a receipt printer, we've dematerialized a lot of the devices. Banks like this, because it has fewer moving parts, so it reduces the total cost of ownership."

Explore further: Chase planning rollout of card-free ATMs

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8 comments

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Eikka
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 21, 2016
Yes, and then when you lose or break your cellphone, you lose access to your money as well and get completely screwed over.

There's a saying about eggs in one basket.
dogbert
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 21, 2016
Eikka,
then when you lose or break your cellphone, you lose access to your money as well and get completely screwed over.


Not to mention that you will have to have an eye scan or fingerprint scan on a public database.

You better hope your phone has strong security systems. Oh wait a minute. The FBI says it is going to get the courts to eliminate security systems on your phone. Uh oh...
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2016
Not to mention that you will have to have an eye scan or fingerprint scan on a public database.

You better hope your phone has strong security systems. Oh wait a minute. The FBI says it is going to get the courts to eliminate security systems on your phone. Uh oh...
@dogbert
good point, but for a different reason: considering the ability that it is actually very easy to replicate a fingerprint... and if your phone is stolen it likely has a sh*t-load of your fingerprints, this is a really bad security system...

but eye-scans are not much better as it is possible to actually get enough info for an iris scan from a distance (or in a mirror)
http://phys.org/n...eet.html

The latest development in this field is the scanning of irises from a distance of up to 40 feet (12 metres) away. ...they were able ...to identify drivers from an image of their eye captured from their vehicle's side mirror
[edited for length- see link Parag 2]
KelDude
5 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2016
In the US they still depend mainly on the insecure "mag stripe" on the back of the card. These stripes can be read by "skimmers" but in Canada the ATM's have a "jerky movement" on cards inserted which makes the skimmers fail. They need a constant speed with no stops. In Canada all vendors have Visa machines that use the embedded "chip" instead of the "mag stripe". The US is bypassing the chip completely and going to NFC stuff. You know of course that smartphone companies provide for "cloud" backup of your phone "just in case...." , well now your banking info is in the cloud. I don't trust them at all on this point. Give me a card with a secure "chip" anytime.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2016
In Canada all vendors have Visa machines that use the embedded "chip" instead of the "mag stripe". The US is bypassing the chip completely and going to NFC stuff
@KelDude
uhmmm.... not really true
i live in a real rural area and we've all replaced cards with the chip. now... the mag-strip can still BE used around here, but all the readers are chip readers and almost every card from every institution is also chip-card.
I have NO mag-strip only cards in my wallet
- and again, i am in rural US, where most people are still barefoot and sans computers (making the free internet and 'puters in our library very popular), sans cell phones and still using CB's for the bulk of their communication

Eikka
not rated yet Feb 21, 2016
the mag-strip can still BE used around here, but all the readers are chip readers and almost every card from every institution is also chip-card.


The problem is that the magstripe is still accepeted as valid authentication, so you can still skim a chip&pin card, copy it, and then pretend that the chip is broken.

Elsewhere the ATM just identifies that it's supposed to be a chip card and spits it out. That's why the magstrip is still there.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2016
All these advancements are simply to remove untraceable cash from Western economy. Then when all transactions are traceable, commerce can be remote controlled. For example, gun sales banned by PayPal would become ubiquitous. Then negative interest rates will be easily introduced and citizens will have no recourse but to pay banks a tax for the privilege of holding their currency. I would say money but westerners do not have money(gold), which they all sold to Eurasia. Now that even Japan has NIR (negative interest) the USA empire must be prepared for the takeover by psychopath bankster families and the king of sociopaths, Soros, so WWIII can begin in earnest. Soros hates Russia almost as much as he hates his son for being gay hippie

Killing Justice Scalia allows the third branch of USA empire to be realigned with seizing all weapons, while social media makes an electronic list for FEMA camp attendants
IronhorseA
not rated yet Feb 21, 2016
All these advancements are simply to remove untraceable cash from Western economy.


Actually all the untraceable cash is being used to give the Koch brothers better back support in their beauty rest mattresses.

Just ask that Bonner guy that's been advertising about crashing banks.

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