Digital Banking

Bank Of America Joins Cardless ATM Race

Roughly 24 hours after JPMorgan Chase announced it would be deploying cardless ATMs, Bank of America has thrown its hat into the race.

According to reports by CNBC, Bank of America’s cardless ATMs are expected to start popping up in four cities — Sunnyvale, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Boston; and New York — as soon as next month, with a larger expansion planned for later this year.

BoA’s machines will reportedly allow customers to: use their smartphones to withdraw cash, cash checks, pay off credit card bills and request funds in specific denominations.

Cardless ATM initiatives seek to heighten security standards, while also optimizing customer convenience, and Chase and BoA are not the only banks that are catching on to the trend. BMO Harris, Avidia Bank and Salem Five Bancorp have also made similar moves.

Bank of America has no doubt felt the weight of consumer preferences, and in 2015, it shuttered 2.65 percent of its locations for a total of less than 4,800 physical locations today. In the same span, Bank of America increased its ATM count by 1 percent for a total of 16,038 terminals.

Last year, mobile banking and online banking were each identified as a top priority by 14 percent of U.S. banks. As MPD CEO Karen Webster wrote in a column last August: “Online and mobile channels are how consumers want to engage with their banks. Mobile engagement is up 52 percent from just a few years ago, according to the Fed’s study on mobile financial services. And almost as many consumers used online banking as ATMs last year, and more consumers used mobile banking than telephone call centers that year, too.”

“In response, bank CIOs have doubled down, quite literally, on their investments in mobile and online capabilities — far outpacing their investments in new products, call centers and operations,” Webster noted.

Some in the payments space are pegging 2016 as the year that digital banking will “get real,” but if recent moves are any indication, it’s not a race that big banks are taking lightly.

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