A Simple Guide to Cardless ATMs: How They Work and How to Use Them
Accessing your money at an ATM is getting easier. Some of the top banks, especially those in the best countries for fintech startups, are now offering cash withdrawals at ATMs without the use of debit or credit cards. As cardless ATMs are being installed across the United States (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Hong Kong, India, and other parts of the world, now is the best time to learn about them.
This article is a simple guide to understanding how cardless cash withdrawals at ATMs work. Read on to get all the essential information you need.
Using Cardless ATMs
The continuous demand for smartphones with near-field communication (NFC) capability and the increasingly contactless lifestyle introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic are major factors driving the use of cardless ATMs. With this trending withdrawal system, consumers are now able to get cash from ATMs without their debit or credit cards. Although cardless ATMs were in use years before the COVID-19 pandemic, they only recently started gaining more attention from consumers.
Now, leaving your wallet or payment card behind is no longer a concern if you have your smartphone with you and a cardless ATM in your location. That is because you can rest assured that your phone is sufficient to withdraw the cash you need for tips or purchases.
What is a cardless ATM?
A cardless ATM is a physical cash machine that allows people to withdraw money from their digital bank accounts without using their payment cards. In other words, instead of accepting only conventional debit and credit cards, which typically come in plastic or metal forms, cardless ATMs also use contactless technology to verify a customer's account, authenticate their identity, and complete transactions.
Generally, to use a cardless ATM, the customer needs a compatible mobile banking app on an NFC-enabled smartphone. Through it, they can conduct balance enquiries, cash withdrawals, and all other financial operations they used to do with a physical card at the ATM.
How cardless ATMs work
First of all, all cardless ATMs are contactless enabled, so they can work with NFC and other similar technologies. To perform any operation without the presence of a physical card, cardless ATMs use either the mobile app of the customer’s bank or a compatible m-wallet that has been linked to a checking or savings account. The most popular m-wallets are Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.
When using a bank app for a cardless ATM transaction, a unique code is sent to the customer, who will then have to enter it into the ATM or hold their NFC-enabled phone close to it to establish a secure connection. Next, the cardless ATM will usually try to verify your identity. So, it will ask you to enter the PIN associated with your debit or credit card from which you want to withdraw cash. Note that it is not a good practice to use your credit card to take out cash at an ATM. Read our article on common mistakes to avoid when using credit cards for more information.
So, if you are asking whether you will need a PIN to use a cardless ATM, the answer is yes. If it does not ask you for your PIN, it certainly will use another method to verify that you are the authorised user of the account. This is a security measure that must be taken seriously. By the way, you should never share your PIN with anyone. If you have to, please ensure it is someone you trust so much.
How to Use a Cardless ATM to Withdraw Money
If your bank supports cardless withdrawals and you have a compatible ATM in your location, cashing out money without using your debit card involves taking a few simple steps. Although the procedure is not exactly the same for all banks and cardless ATMs, most of them usually require the user to do as follows:
- First, you need to open your bank’s app on your phone and go to the option for cardless cash withdrawal.
- Second, select the account you want to withdraw cash from.
- Third, tap your phone (or place it) against the contactless reader on the ATM. Note that some machines may require you to scan a QR code to establish the link to your account.
- Fourth, when prompted by the ATM, type your PIN to verify your identity and authorise the transaction. At this stage, some other systems might require you to use biometric verification, such as face recognition, fingerprints, iris scanning, or voice recognition.
- Fifth, you need to type the amount of cash you want to withdraw (and specify the currency if the machine supports multiple currencies).
- Sixth and last, take your money as soon as the ATM dispenses it.
Pros and Cons of Using Cardless ATMs
Cardless ATM transactions can be made using your NFC-enabled smartphone with your bank app at a supported location. But there are good and bad sides to any technological innovation, and contactless cash withdrawals are no exception.
Cardless cash machines have their advantages and disadvantages. They are as follows.
- Less contact with surfaces to reduce the risk of contracting germs
- No need for a physical wallet because you can use your mobile wallet
- No need to move around with a physical debit card
- No additional cost for using your bank’s app for cardless ATM withdrawals
- Increased security through cardless ATM transactions that require codes
- Not all banks have cardless ATMs
- Limited access to cardless ATMs around the world
- Your smartphone may not be compatible with NFC and cardless ATMs
- Network failure may prevent cardless ATM transactions
- Cardless ATM fraud due to unauthorised access to linked phone and PIN
Popular Banks That Offer Cardless ATMs
Knowing that your phone is always at your fingertips, some of the big banks have developed cardless withdrawal services to make it way easier for you to use your smartphone to access your money. Most of them have cardless ATMs in their networks.
Below are popular banks that offer cardless ATMs, with major operations in the UK and the USA:
Barclays Bank Plc is an FCA-regulated bank that provides digital banking services and a host of other financial products for millions of people in and outside the UK. This financial giant offers checking and savings accounts, mortgages, budgeting and debt support, credit cards, investment accounts, and insurance coverages (home, travel, tech, and life). There are more than 1,500 branches and more than 1,200 ATMs of Barclays Bank in the UK.
All cash machines (ATMs) at Barclays Bank are suitable for contactless cash withdrawals. Also, its customers can pre-set the amount they want to cash out to ensure a simpler visit to the ATM. However, only customers with a current account, contactless debit card, or Android smartphone can make cardless ATM transactions with Barclays Bank.
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK)
The Royal Bank of Scotland is the leading provider of private, commercial, and corporate banking services in the UK. The products from this company include savings accounts, credit cards, loans, overdrafts, insurance, mortgages, and online investment options. It has around 700 branches in Scotland and many others across the UK. With a debit card from this bank, you get access to over 40,000 cash machines.
The mobile app of the Royal Bank of Scotland has a "Get Cash" function that enables customers to make withdrawals at its thousands of cardless ATMs without needing their physical debit cards. However, only customers with a UK or international mobile number in certain countries, and a minimum balance of 10 GBP can use Get Cash with their Digital Banking Accounts.
Chase is one of the largest US banks. It helps millions of people make the most of their money by providing them with a variety of personal and business accounts, home loans, credit cards, mortgages, investment advice, auto financing, and payment processing. The bank has over 4,700 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs.
All Chase ATMs are enabled for cardless withdrawals. So, you do not need to move around with your Chase debit card. If you live in the United States but do not know where to find a Chase ATM, use this link to locate the nearest one to you.
Bank of America (USA)
Bank of America is another large US bank like Chase and offers similar banking products and services. However, Bank of America stands out for its student banking product, which charges no monthly fees and offers credit cards for students to build credit. The bank has more than 3,900 branches and over 16,000 ATMs, with around 4,000 financial centres.
Customers of Bank of America can set up and use PayPal, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Gpay wallets with their Bank of America cards for various transactions. By linking their debit cards to their digital wallets, they can use their mobile phones for cash withdrawals at any Bank of America ATM through NFC contactless technology.
Yes, but it mainly depends on whether you have a cardless ATM in your location and if your bank enables you to make such transactions.
Cardless ATMs are increasingly being deployed by banks in the USA, UK, and other parts of the world. So, check with your financial service provider to know whether you can withdraw money without a card when at their ATM.
Around the world, there are many banks that have taken to the cardless ATM trend. Leading examples are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Bank of Hawaii, Fifth Third Bank, Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Bank of East Asia, Banco Santander SA, Citibank, HSBC, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Turk Ekonomi Bank AS, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Yes, you may be able to use your phone to make cash withdrawals at an ATM if it is NFC-enabled. In other words, you need a smartphone that supports contactless payments to attempt withdrawing cash with it at an ATM. Moreover, you also need to ensure that your bank allows this kind of transaction; otherwise, it will not be successful.
Yes, you may be able to use your phone to make cash withdrawals at an ATM if it is NFC-enabled. In other words, you need a smartphone that supports contactless payments to withdraw cash with it at a cardless ATM. Moreover, you also need to ensure that your bank allows this kind of transaction; otherwise, it will not be successful.
There are two simple ways to get cardless cash. You can go to a branch of your bank and present a valid ID and bank details at the counter to request a form or any other system you can use to withdraw money from your account.
Alternatively, you can use a cardless ATM nearby, provided your bank and mobile phone have the necessary features to make this transaction.
Technology-based banking options are generally appealing. With the innovative possibility of making cardless ATM transactions, those who often leave their houses without their wallets or payment cards can rest assured that they have a more convenient alternative to accessing cash. They only need to use their bank apps on their NFC-enabled smartphones to get money from their accounts at the nearest cardless ATMs.
Take advantage of this opportunity if you live in the UK, USA, or another country where there are cardless ATMs. Please speak with your account manager or contact your bank for more information on making cardless cash withdrawals.