Chase has already confirmed its intention to introduce smartphone-operated ATMs, and now two other major banks look set to follow suit.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo are also working to incorporate contactless NFC technology into their ATMs so smartphone owners using mobile payment services like Apple Pay or Android Pay can withdraw money without the need for a card, sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch this week.
When asked about Wells Fargo’s rumored plan regarding the roll out of cardless machines, the bank’s head of ATMs, Jonathan Velline, confirmed it’s “working on the technology that allows us to hook to digital wallets, leveraging NFC on mobile phones to replace the card at the transaction at the ATM.”
Velline told TechCrunch that while Wells Fargo is currently focusing on Android Pay, it would “likely add more mobile wallets throughout the year.” When pressed on whether Apple Pay would be included, Velline said, “I think that’s a good assessment.”
Bank of America was similarly cagey when asked about the rumor, offering no outright confirmation but plenty of hints suggesting work is underway to introduce the technology for a number of mobile payment platforms.
According to Bank of America spokesperson Betty Riess, plans are in place to introduce the NFC-enabled ATMs toward the end of next month at select locations in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York, and Boston, with a broader roll out expected around the middle of the year. Wells Fargo declined to offer any timeline for when it might launch the new ATMs. .
To use the system, users of compatible phones would first be required to set up the feature on their device. Then it’d likely be a case of tapping your phone on the ATM’s NFC point and verifying your ID – via Touch ID or a pass code – to access your account. Brilliant for people who often mislay their card. Just don’t lose your phone.
Besides being a super-convenient system for users, NFC-enabled ATMs would also ruin the day of many a card-skimming criminal, offering them fewer opportunities for ATM-based stings as more users ditch their cards in favor of the contactless technology.