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ATM withdrawals without a card

By David McMillin ·
Friday, June 15, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

It looks like your smartphone is ready to revolutionize one more piece of your traditional banking experience: trips to the ATM.

NCR, a company known for developing new self-service technologies, is currently testing a tool called Mobile Cash Withdrawal, which eliminates the need for a piece of plastic and a PIN when you're taking cash from your checking account. Instead of digging into your wallet and navigating through a few screens, the technology lets you use your mobile banking app to set up the withdrawal before you arrive at the machine. Once you're there, you scan a 2D barcode on the ATM, and voila! You have your cash.

I've never really considered ATM withdrawals to be much of a hassle, but I don't know many consumers who would argue with a service that speeds up the routine. The company says the technology will reduce the amount of time at the ATM to as little as 10 seconds. More importantly, it helps protect you at the ATM, cutting out the possibility of skimming devices stealing the data from your debit card.

There's no word yet on which banks will offer Mobile Cash Withdrawal, but I'm guessing we'll see this service begin to pop up around the country. The service will reduce paper expenses for banks (receipts for withdrawals are stored in the app), and the ATM line will clearly move at a much faster pace.

For all the upsides of the service, though, I'm curious how quickly consumers will adopt it. We can be slow to part ways with our habits, and many readers are understandably worried about the increased potential for identity theft that comes with new technology.

What do you think? Would you use it to save time at the ATM?

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July 09, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Just out of curiosity, I timed myself at the ATM today. It took 47 seconds from the time I inserted the card to withdraw $100.00.
That's punching in the PIN, navigating the menus, directing the receipt to my e-mail, taking the cash and retrieving my card.
How much faster does it need to be?

June 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Response to joe nonya:

Actually, when you shop online, the companies use a merchant account that is set-up with a specific bank. The area that you place your account information into, is the banks content, not the sites. When you enter the information in, and submit the bank turns everything into a transaction id and your credit card information is encrypted. If the need comes up for the company to give you a refund or investigate a purchase, the bank will only give the authorized person a transaction ID but the company will never have the actual card information.

June 30, 2012 at 3:51 am

People still use cash??? for what. Now being able to scan my debit card from my cell phone so that I don't have that physical item that can get lost I might like that indeed, but an app to basically pre-process my atm transaction, pretty useless to me.

joe nonya
June 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Sure, no skimmer for your card, but an unknown company processing your request. How many "trustworthy" employees at said unknown company have access to the transaction? How many thousands of people record the transaction as it goes over public airwaves? How many people will be injured as you set up the transaction while driving to the bank? This is just another pooly thought out scheme that will hasten the overload of the cellular system. Then when you can't use your "smart" phone, how will you get your money?

June 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

What happens when you lose your phone? Can the finder get in the app and order up some of your money from the ATM? To many hands in the pot if you ask me. I mean really how much time are you really saving? You have to punch in all the info in the phone or at the ATM. So either way your still using up the same amount of time. Now we'll have people trying to type up access for money on their phone while they are driving to the ATM..Great!!!

June 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I know where my debit card is all the time. Where's the time savings if you have to go into your app and process the withdrawl before you get to the bank??? Furthermore, I don't use the ATM 1/10 as much as I used to, so where's the demand for this novelty? Oh yeah, I use a dumb phone too. It works pretty good for calling people :)

Freedom 101
June 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm

The more you rely on technology to help you, in the end your freedoms & security are being handed away. BEWARE!

June 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Ever try calling AT&T for a billing dispute? Keep your mobile carrier OUT of your banking accounts. You were warned.

June 19, 2012 at 10:47 am

The reticence to paying for any additional cost of having a smartphone is understandable in a penny-pinching context; I concur with that assessment. However, it might sound a bit superfluous to a previous generation who knew NO bills for cellphone, cable/satellite TV, internet, computer upgrades (you PAY? for water?! Are you crazy?) So it is relative to what you value. The Bell curve applies in this case; you'll have early adopters, then the next tier and then majority market share, then the folks who still use rotary phones (they think you and I waste money on cell phones-could they be correct?maybe so)will either be dead, or choose to use it or simply choose to not use ATMs. Either way, it's more secure from skimming, ATMs are the hottest target of the bad guys, so it WILL happen, guaranteed.

June 15, 2012 at 8:39 am

I'm still trying to justify in my mind spending roughly $30 per month extra for a data plan required to run a smart phone (still using a dumb phone), plus the approximately $150 per year depreciation on the smart phone for a total annual cost of around $500.