Banking

Wells Fargo To Enable Cardless ATM Withdrawals

Wells Fargo is gearing up to unveil a mobile transaction plan that could enable customers to withdraw cash from ATMs as early as this spring without a debit card.

According to a report by CNNMoney, customers will be able to use their smartphones to take out money after they log into the Wells Fargo app and request an eight-digit access code. All they need at the ATM is that code to withdraw cash.

The report noted Wells Fargo is gearing up to convert all of the 13,000 ATMs in its network to include this new service. Wells Fargo contends it will be the first bank to complete a full conversion of its ATMs, reported CNNMoney.

“That’s the game-changer for us, that we’ll be doing this to all of our ATMs,” Wells Fargo spokeswoman Hilary O’Byrne told CNNMoney. Still, not everyone is convinced it will be such a big deal. Wes Dunn, senior vice president of sales for the ATM manufacturer Genmega Inc., told CNNMoney he wasn’t sure it will increase the convenience factor enough to get people to use it. “Getting out a piece of plastic and inserting it is not so terribly difficult, so outside of being trendy and cool, I fail to see the benefit to the cardholder themselves,” he said.

The move on the part of Wells Fargo comes at a time when there are concerns about this new way of withdrawing cash from an ATM. Financial institutions are rolling out cardless ATM transactions in which customers can use their mobile phones to withdraw money, but Krebs on Security found that that feature can be hacked, with the bad guys quickly and quietly taking stolen bank account usernames and passwords and getting cash out of ATMs with them. According to the report, even worse, it may be hard for customers to dispute the cardless ATM withdrawals because the victim is seemingly at the scene where the crime happened.

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