Wells Fargo introduces cardless ATMs across U.S. in digital push
By Tina Bellon
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Starting on Monday, Wells Fargo & Co depositors can withdraw money using a smartphone at any branded ATM, the latest sign of U.S. lenders moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar banking.
Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo's head of ATM and branch banking, said that the San Francisco-based bank decided to apply the smartphone technology to all of its 13,000 cash machines after piloting the idea in select locations across the country.
Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are among the big banks that have announced digital upgrades to their ATM infrastructure, but Wells Fargo is the first U.S. bank to roll out cardless machines across its entire network.
The 20 million customers on Wells Fargo's mobile banking app will be able to request an eight-digit code to enter along with their personal identification code at an ATM to retrieve cash.
"The new feature allows customers to withdraw cash at any time, even when they don't have their cards on them," Velline said.
The new option will also improve protections against data theft, Velline said.
"Security certainly was a big aspect of the cardless feature and the two-step identification helps reduce the risk of fraud," Velline said, adding that the elimination of cards prevented so-called skimming techniques that criminals employ to read and store data of cards inserted into ATMs.
Wells Fargo, the third-largest U.S. bank, was once the envy of Wall Street, able to seemingly sell its customers a range of different products and highly regarded for its stock price which had once made it the world's most valuable bank. Continued...