Going 'Cardless': City National Pilots Mobilized ATMs

Most m-payments and m-commerce conversation revolves around replacing credit cards at point-of-sale, via mobile wallets and the like. But one financial institution, City National Bank, is testing out a way of eliminating cards at the ATM as well. Partnering with FIS Cardless Cash Access, the company is piloting a program in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles that uses smartphones as authentication devices at ATMs. Rather than inserting a card in an ATM, the user makes the transaction or withdrawal request on their smartphone, which is used to authenticate the customers. The phone creates a QR code that is scanned at the ATM, which issues the cash and an e-receipt to the phone.

Why bother? According to the companies, the cardless method eliminates the risk of card skimming and bank fraud. It allows the user to interact with the machine in private and eliminates paper receipts.

FIS Cardless Cash Access uses an app to securely register and authenticate the customer's smartphone. The account information is not stored on the phone itself but in the cloud, so card data cannot be accessed from a lost or stolen phone.

The pilot will begin in these three test market early next year. City National says that the program gives consumers a faster and more secure method of getting cash and relating to the ATM machine itself.   

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