Financial services provider FIS has announced that card-less ATM transactions will be a reality in the not-so-distant future, with their ‘Cardless Cash Access‘ application. The mobile app has already had successful trial runs with three small banks: Wintrust in Illinois, BMO Harris in Chicago and City National in Los Angeles. Given the promising results, the banks plan to roll out the feature over the course of 2014, and other financial institutions are showing interest as well.
Rather than using a debit card to withdraw cash, users are be able to ‘order’ cash from an ATM up to 24 hours in advance. At the ATM, the machine only dispenses the cash once the user scans a code on the ATM screen, upon which cash is dispensed and a digital receipt is sent to the mobile device. As of now, Cardless Cash Access is a standalone mobile app, but FIS has plans to integrate it with Mobile Banking by 2014.
According to the case study, presented by Javelin Strategy & Research, benefits of the application include security, convenience and speed. Security may not be an intuitive benefit, but the pilot program revealed that the app-powered transaction is actually more secure, as traditional ‘skimming’ tactics used by thieves would be impossible given that the pin is not entered while at the machine. Smartphone users also usually have a security code to access the phone, which the thief would need to hack in addition to the pin needed within the app. Finally, detecting a lost or stolen phone would likely happen more quickly than detecting a missing card. Regarding speed, the cardless withdrawals averaged just eight to nine seconds, compared to the thirty or forty seconds required for a traditional transaction.
The primary potential concern is connectivity. Currently, the app requires a network connection to function, which could prove problematic in some areas. As such, FIS recommends installing signal boosters or WiFi at the ATMs to insure functionality.