Let’s face it, getting cash out of a cash machine is usually a pretty stressful experience.
You spend ages waiting in line while, then what seems like forever waiting for the machine to accept and recognise your card before you can even enter your pin.
Well, that wait could soon become a thing of the past as your debit card is going to be replaced by… yep, you guessed it, your smartphone.
Banks in the US have started using a new technology called Cardless Cash, which pretty much does what it says on the tin.
Instead of using a traditional bank card, customers ‘order’ cash using an app on their phone before making their way to the nearest cash point.
The company behind the technology, FIS Global, says it could cut down transaction time at the ATM to as low as 10 seconds.
Customers also get an electronic receipt sent straight to their phone, so there’s no need to hang around for the cash machine to print a paper one.
“Consumers are looking for experiences that match their increasingly mobile lifestyles, with expectations of better security,” said Douglas Brown, head of mobile at FIS.
“We are excited to help our banks deliver on their brand promise to customers, and exceed their expectations for speed, simplicity and security.”
More than 1,600 ATMs across the US have already been fitted with the necessary software. More than 80,000 machines will be enabled over the next 18 months.
FIS said that far from creating a security risk, Cardless Cash actually aims to end a growing problem known as skimming – when a device fitted over an ATM is used to steal data from debit cards.
Here in the UK, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers can already withdraw cash without using their debit card using the banks’ Emergency Cash or GetCash features.
GetCash was introduced four years ago following the initial success of the Emergency Cash system, and allows customers with the NatWest or RBS mobile apps to request a six-digit pin, which is then entered at an ATM.
Ben Green, head of mobile at NatWest and RBS, said the features were a simple and secure way for people to access cash.
“We’ve heard countless stories from customers who’ve left their wallet behind, or parents who need a quick way to send money across to their children immediately.
“GetCash means these problems have been solved in a totally secure and painless way.”