Cardless ATMs (cont.)

Some banks – such as Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo – have already started offering cardless ATMs. Although their processes and technologies may vary, generally each bank’s mobile app offers its customers a code that can be used to unlock their bank accounts so they can withdraw cash by tapping their devices while at the ATM.

In March 2017, Wells Fargo announced cardless ATM offerings at each of its 13,000 ATMs nationwide. This marked a first since, other banks only offered the cardless option at select locations.

Rather than using actual bank cards, Wells Fargo customers can use the service by logging into the Wells Fargo mobile app and then selecting Card-Free ATM access under Account Services. There they can request an 8-digit access code that has a one-time-use and is valid for 30 minutes. Upon arriving at the ATM, customers simply enter the code and their debit or ATM card PIN to withdraw cash.

While some applaud this innovative, modernized approach to banking, others remain skeptical. Of course, security is a top concern. Some experts believe that cardless ATMs offer more security while others believe they put customers at risk for loss of cash or fraud.

The Financial Brand, a digital publication that focuses on marketing and strategy issues that affect retail banks, reported that security news source Krebs On Security believes cardless access cuts back on ATM skimming, but presents other opportunities for criminals. It stated that identity proofing is the weakest point of the operation. As a result, some banks are considering biometrics for authentication.