A couple of banking institutions in the United States are working on integrating Apple Pay into their respective automatic teller machines (ATMs). It appears that both Bank of America and Wells Fargo already have their engineers busy developing options for Apple’s mobile payment system. Apple Pay has made some headway since it was launched by the iPhone maker in October in 2014, but having the system used together with ATMs is another whole new level entirely.
Jonathan Velline, the head of ATMs at Wells Fargo, has stated that the company has indeed been trying to develop a working technology that would let Wells Fargo make use of digital wallets, especially those enabled by near field communications (NFC) technology, which will eventually replace cards when having transactions at ATMs. Despite citing support for Android Pay (Google’s answer to Apple Pay), Wells Fargo is open to the idea of welcoming different mobile wallet options, and Velline has even implied that throughout the year, it is likely that more mobile wallets will be integrated, especially Apple Pay.
As for Bank of America, its press representative, Betty Riess, has confirmed that the banking institution is indeed working on a new cardless solution involving ATMs, NFC, and smartphones. Riess said that this solution might be deployed by late next month in selected ATM locations in the cities of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York, and Boston. By summer, Bank of America could start rolling out the solution countrywide. Like Wells Fargo, Bank of America was careful in not naming names, but since the iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the nation, it is reasonable to think that Apple’s mobile payment system could be the one being referred to.
As of now, it is not clear yet exactly how Apple Pay will work with ATMs. Many may guess that it would involve withdrawing cash from the machine without having to use a card. ATMs may be equipped with NFC compatible technology that would allow them to authenticate the user’ identity via their iPhone devices, and some authentication process may be required on the user’s side, either with the use of a passcode or fingerprint verification.
Using Apple Pay on ATMs would offer some advantages. One is that users will not have to bring cards anymore, or remember PINs. On the banks’ side, it would help protect against fraud. Cards are easy to duplicate, but iPhone devices are far more complicated targets. Also, passcodes on iPhones are far more difficult to hack compared to 4 digit PINs used on cards.
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