No Debit Card? No Problem! Some ATMs Are Going Swipe-Free

by Sarah Grotta 0

At long last, there are more pilots for card less ATM transactions taking place, according to The prevailing technologies are using a unique code plus a PIN or the use of a cell phone with a one-time use QR code:

Some banks in the Midwest have started offering a similar service, but instead of using an access code, consumers use their smartphones to replace the role of a debit card in an ATM transaction. BMO Harris installed hundreds of cardless ATMs in the Chicago area earlier in 2015, and Wintrust Financial rolled out cardless ATMs in the Chicago area and southern Wisconsin around the same time, reported the Chicago Tribune. Both setups require the consumer to pull up a QR code on their smartphones (this requires cellphone reception or Internet access), and the ATM scans that code in lieu of the customer swiping a debit card. Prior to scanning the code, users set how much they wish to withdraw using a mobile banking app.

It will take many years yet for this to become a common practice. Banks are still in the planning stages for upgrading machines to EMV with only about 10 to 15% having completed the migration. Card less capabilities are either being accomplished at the same time as EMV upgrades, or it is being pushed out even further into the future into another budget cycle.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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