A Mobile Money Machine

Smartphones can’t replace cash, but they can help members access it on the go.


Here comes another contender in the battle to replace the physical wallet with a mobile one. First, mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) appeared, allowing members to turn any location into a branch and deposit funds at the snap of a shutter. Then, contact-based and contactless mobile options (NFC, QR codes, etc.) began to surface among retailers for point-of-sale purchase.

Bit a barrier still existed in the handling of cash withdrawals at card-dependent ATM units. Now, Next-generation solutions like the one from Georgia-based technology company NCR are demonstrating that mobile wallets have a place in this space as well.

NCR’s solution relies on mobile apps and QR codes to quickly authenticate and process ATM withdrawals without a card or chip, mitigating many potential hardware costs that follow alternatives like NFC.

You can see the solution in action on NCR’s website. The only additional requirements beyond a normal card-based transaction is a camera-equipped smartphone, the mobile app, and an ATM with updated software.

The user enters a pin code and transaction details — such as the account and the amount of withdrawal — into the phone, reducing the chance of onlookers and completely eliminating the risk of card skimming. Then, users snap a photo of the QR code from the ATM screen, which lets the financial institution know their location. From there, the member simply grabs their cash and receives the receipt directly on their phone.

According to NCR, this process is not only safe but will also speed up transactions. Much depends on factors like the technology’s proximity base and potential time out limits for each session, but it seems like users might be able to complete a portion of the transaction as they wait in line for the machine.

Credit unions and other financial institutions have also been able to incorporate cash and ATMs into their mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) strategy, as seen in this advertisement for Turkey’s Garanti Bank. The video markets it as an emergency-type service, but it’s easy to see the potential for near daily use among some member segments.


June 13, 2012



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