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Chase makes mobile power play with cardless ATMs

Chase plans to install new card-free ATM machines this year, enabling customers to withdraw funds and complete other financial transactions using their smartphones.

Following a strong push for innovations in mobile commerce last year, Chase is kicking off 2016 by rolling out a new generation of ATMs that will appeal to the mobile-savvy user. Consumers will no longer need to carry their debit and credit cards with them when visiting an ATM, a notion that may win Chase more mobile banking customers in the long run.

“As biometric technology drives better and more secure smartphone access measures, innovations like card-less ATMs are going to become the norm,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce. “Plastic cards with magnetic strips are common, but abysmal when it to comes to fraud prevention.

“Any number of schemes can capture the data off the mag strips and the fact is that this outdated technology costs banks and issuers, and credit card companies, billions. This leaves a lot of budget for developing new, more secure technologies.”

Smartphone-enabled transactions
Chase’s first new ATM rollout will include machines that give customers account access by allowing them to input a code found within their Chase mobile applications. Individuals will no longer be required to carry their debit cards with them when making a withdrawal, which is certain to alleviate stress for some forgetful customers.

This move makes perfect sense from a connectivity standpoint, as most consumers do not leave their homes without their personal devices in tow. This means that customers would rarely visit an ATM and be forced to leave upon discovering they do not possess the necessary card to proceed with a transaction.

Future incarnations of Chase’s ATMs are said to involve upgrades that will enable individuals to access their accounts by leveraging their smartphones’ near-field wireless communication tools. This NFC technology is the force behind mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

The bank will also upgrade existing machines to contain more cash in different denominations. Consumers will be able to withdraw a higher amount of money – up to $3,000.

Chase’s dedication to competing with current mobile payments developers, such as Apple and Samsung, could potentially offer it front-runner status as its substantial customer base strays away from the pigeonhole caused by software developers (see story).

Evolving with the times
Chase is among the slew of banks introducing revamped ATMs in a bid to streamline operations and potentially replace the roles of bank tellers at bricks-and-mortar locations. Chase is reportedly conducting more monthly transactions via ATMs than with in-person tellers, showcasing how consumers’ expectations for financial services are changing.

The company’s branches will still maintain a presence of tellers to aid customers with special transactions and inquiries. Tellers will also be expected to mingle on the store floor and help individuals use the new machines.

The upgraded ATMs will include the ability for consumers to pay their Chase credit card bills and mortgages, as well as cash checks.

Additionally, Chase is planning to bring its newly introduced Chase Pay mobile payments solution to gas stations and convenience stores in an attempt to corner a sector known for the kind of everyday purchases that fit well with mobile (see story).

The financial marketer will likely experience a surge in mobile banking customers following these rollouts, placing it a step ahead of its competitors.

Wintrust Financial Corporation has also forayed into card-free ATMs, with Bank of America set to join the fray this year as well.

“Card-less ATMs, where a consumer-specific code is delivered into a device that only they can access, are likely more secure, more efficient, and will be welcomed by consumers looking to ditch the piles of plastic they carry around now,” Mr. Kerr said.