Wells Fargo first in US to en­able cus­tomers to make card­less ATM with­drawals

New Straits Times - - Business -

NEW YORK: Start­ing on Mon­day, Wells Fargo & Co de­pos­i­tors can with­draw money us­ing a smart­phone at any branded au­to­mated teller ma­chines (ATMs), the lat­est sign of United States lenders mov­ing away from tra­di­tional brick-and-mor­tar bank­ing.

Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo’s head of ATM and branch bank­ing, said the San Fran­cisco-based bank de­cided to ap­ply the smart­phone tech­nol­ogy to all of its 13,000 cash ma­chines af­ter pi­lot­ing the idea in select lo­ca­tions across the coun­try.

Bank of Amer­ica Corp and JPMor­gan Chase & Co are among the big banks that have an­nounced dig­i­tal up­grades to their ATM in­fra­struc­ture, but Wells Fargo is the first US bank to roll out card­less ma­chines across its en­tire net­work.

The 20 mil­lion cus­tomers on Wells Fargo’s mo­bile bank­ing app will be able to re­quest an eight­digit code to en­ter along with their per­sonal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion code at an ATM to re­trieve cash.

“The new dig­i­tal fea­ture al­lows cus­tomers to with­draw cash at any time, even when they don’t have their cards on them,” said Velline.

The new op­tion will also im­prove pro­tec­tions against data theft, she added .

“Se­cu­rity cer­tainly was a big as­pect of the card­less fea­ture and the two-step iden­ti­fi­ca­tion helps re­duce the risk of fraud,” said Velline, adding that the elim­i­na­tion of cards pre­vented so-called skim­ming tech­niques that crim­i­nals em­ploy to read and store data of cards in­serted into ATMs.

Wells Fargo, the third-largest US bank, was once the envy of Wall Street, able to seem­ingly sell its cus­tomers a range of dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and highly re­garded for its stock price which had once made it the world’s most valu­able bank.

But last year’s rev­e­la­tions over a sales scan­dal that in­volved the cre­ation of as many as 2.1 mil­lion fraud­u­lent ac­counts in cus­tomers’ names with­out their per­mis­sion took a toll on the once great com­pany.

The lender has since seen a sharp drop in the num­ber of con­sumers open­ing check­ing and credit card ac­counts.

As have many other US lenders over the last years, Wells Fargo has in­vested in the de­vel­op­ment of dig­i­tal tools to at­tract cus­tomers and slash costs at its retail branches.

“Dig­i­tal­is­ing ser­vices is un­ques­tion­ably the way to the fu­ture and the ar­gu­ments are very pow­er­ful, but US banks are still far be­hind,” said Ger­ard du Toit, a part­ner at con­sult­ing firm Bain & Com­pany.

Ac­ces­si­ble, well-de­signed dig­i­tal of­fers not only pro­vide a mas­sive cost advantage, but also sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove cus­tomer loy­alty, said du Toit. Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.