Bank Watch

Bank of America will allow ATM transactions using smartphones this year

Bank of America said Wednesday it plans to roll out technology this year enabling customers to conduct automated teller machine transactions with their smartphones, as opposed to swiping a plastic card. The Charlotte-based bank’s rivals are making similar moves.
Bank of America said Wednesday it plans to roll out technology this year enabling customers to conduct automated teller machine transactions with their smartphones, as opposed to swiping a plastic card. The Charlotte-based bank’s rivals are making similar moves. Bloomberg

Bank of America said Wednesday it will begin allowing customers to perform ATM transactions with their smartphones later this year, a move being made by its rivals.

The new technology will eliminate the need for customers to swipe their plastic ATM card to withdraw cash or conduct other transactions at the machines. The Charlotte-based bank said the machines will still accept the cards.

Bank of America had previously said it was testing cardless-ATM technology. On Wednesday, the day after media reports that rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. is rolling out similar technology, Bank of America provided more specificity on its plans.

Bank of America says it will begin piloting the service with its employees late next month at select automated teller machines in Charlotte, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. That will be followed by a broader customer launch midyear, the bank said.

Cardless ATMs rely on similar wireless technology that enables devices at cash registers to let customers pay using their phones instead of plastic cards.

Other big U.S.banks have announced plans for cardless ATMs.

On Tuesday, media outlets reported that New York-based JPMorgan will introduce such ATMs by the end of this year.

Last month, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said its “virtual card” service will be available in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of this year.

Banks are making a push into cardless ATMs at a time when rising numbers of their customers are doing their banking on their smartphones instead of inside branches.

It remains unknown how popular the cardless ATMs will be.

Consumers overall have been slow to adopt the practice of using their phones to make payments in stores.

Apple Pay and other similar services enable phones to be used as virtual wallets, but many consumers haven’t readily accepted them. One roadblock has been cybersecurity in an era when data breaches affecting large companies have made headlines.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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