Mobile payment systems, even with giants like Google, Apple, and Samsung behind them, haven’t completely taken the country by storm. The inconvenience of whipping out and using your smartphone sometimes outweighs the benefits and security of the new payment method offers. There might, however, be a new use case that could make the benefits outweigh inconvenience: getting money from ATMs. At least three banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, have more or less confirmed that they will be rolling out later this year machines that can accept wireless, mobile payments like Android Pay or Apple Pay.
So far only Wells Fargo has actually confirmed which payment system it will be supporting, saying that, at launch, Android Pay will be what it supports. It is considering others in the future as well, but is coy about whether that includes Apple Pay. BoA and Chase are less forthcoming, but, considering the options out there, it won’t take much to guess one of the two, or both, will be supported.
ATM transactions is the one place where the increased security of mobile payments are perhaps best applied. Instead of a plastic card that can be more easily duplicated than a smartphone, users will need to tap their mobile devices on specially designated NFC contact points. But it doesn’t end there either. Users will also have to either use their fingerprint or key in a stronger passcode on their smartphones, either of which are statistically more secure than 4 or 6 digit PINs that most cards require.
Removing the use of cards also makes card skimmers practically useless. The contraptions are able to dupe users into inserting cards into their fake slots, allowing criminals to glean information from them. Some even joke about how NFC-only ATMs could help deter drug use, as dealers don’t take Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. At least, not yet. That said, these new ATMs will most likely still support traditional card transactions for the conceivable future.
These NFC-equipped ATMs might give the mobile payment industry a much needed push to become a more common technology in the market. That is, of course, if people actually start using them. Bank of America will start its rollout in late February in select ATMs in select locations, including select ATMs in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York and Boston. Neither Chase nor Wells Fargo have revealed timetables.