Your smartphone will start replacing your debit card at ATMs this year

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 29, 2016

Android Pay AA

The steady takeover by contactless payment services like Android Pay and Apple Pay scored a major victory today, with several major U.S. banks confirming they will be introducing contactless ATMs in 2016. These kinds of contactless ATMs have been around for a while – Spain has had them since 2011 and Australia introduced the first EMV chip ATM a year ago – but these will be the first in the U.S. market.

According to TechCrunch and Wired, Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo have all committed to employing NFC-equipped ATMs this year. Bank of America will have the new ATMS out in late February “at select ATMs in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York and Boston, followed by a broader roll out to customers mid-year”. Wells Fargo and Chase will follow suit later in the year.

Samsung Pay press

The good news for those that aren’t exactly pumped for Android Pay ATMs is that the new cash points will still fully support traditional card-based transactions, although the banks are pretty clear about why that process should be phased out sooner rather than later.

“A couple of years before launch, we started to see a need to solve authentication at the ATM. ATM card technology is 35 years old. It hasn’t evolved much. It’s at risk for fraud,” said BMO exec Doug Peacock. Canada introduced contactless ATMs last year, although the system required generating a unique QR code on your phone to be scanned at the ATM – not exactly “tap and cash”. The main hurdle for fully contactless systems is the need to replace costly ATM hardware.

Apple Pay

In the U.S., Chase will be rolling the new cardless service out in two phases, the first of which will employ a similarly clunky solution to BMO. Chase customers will be asked to authenticate on their device through Chase’s mobile banking app to generate a temporary seven-digit PIN. This number can then be keyed into the ATM to bypass the need for a card. The second phase of the plan – in the latter half of 2016 – will see the introduction of the NFC-equipped ATMs.

When these contactless ATMs are fully deployed across the country, skimming fraud will plummet. Without a physical card to skim, cracking the banking information of a contactless system then falls back on encryption and biometric security. Not all banks will support fingerprint recognition at the get-go, but some will and this kind of security measure will become the norm as fingerprint scanners become more widespread.


The U.S. is not typically an early adopter of new banking systems though, with chip-and PIN technology commonplace in Europe for many years. The U.S. is still only slowly adopting EMV chip-only cards and contactless systems will likely take several more years to filter out to smaller banks and encompass all ATMs nationwide. But contactless systems are definitely the future. Considering the ATM is a 1960s idea, it’s about time it got a refresh for the modern age.

Will you use an NFC-equipped ATM? What kind of problems do you see cropping up?

  • Cannot wait for Android Pay to come to Australia. Although I only carry my licence, bank card and phone. Would still be awesome.

  • neonix

    No, I won’t be using them because my phone is rooted, which obviously means my datas a unsafe…

    • yankeesusa

      That is true. But if you use systemless root, whatever that means, iv’e seen in many forums that android pay will work.

      • JH

        Yep. I’m running systemless root on my Note 5 and am able to use Android Pay. Though Samsung Pay can’t be used.

        • yankeesusa

          I was going to root my wife’s s6 to remove bloat but i didn’t because samsung pay is just so convenient. Currently using n6, i may get the tmobile version of the note 5 once it gets updated to 6.0.1 or similar variant.

          • JH

            I rooted my phone without really learning about Knox and that Samsung Pay will be dead forever or I may have waited. First Samsung phone, had HTC phones for the previous 5 years. Kind of regret not getting to try Samsung Pay at least. Android Pay is nice so I’m glad that works.

  • byers88

    This is just leading to us using biometric chips in our bodies already predicted by the book of revelation. Why should using your phone be more easier than using a card that they’re phasing out cards? It takes a second to run to a bank to replace a missing card but what happens when you lose your phone? Does the bank replace it? This is all very sinister.

    • yankeesusa

      What? You’ll still have your regular card as backup and if you lose your phone you have a more serious problem at hand like, replacing your phone…. LOL. It’s not sinister at all. Paranoid much?

    • Sherpa

      You are more than welcome to go back in cave. They are giving you both options. They are not phasing anything out yet. I’d rather have my phone with two credit cards setup than carry my phone and two additional credit cards.

    • It’s coming, don’t fight it!!

  • McHale72

    I’m on Windows Phone where Chase has abandoned support. Looks like I couldn’t use it if I wanted to… which I don’t.

    • Rishicash

      Just one of the reasons I went to Android.

  • MonteLDS

    If Android Pay would allow me to use it without a lock screen and just a simple pin (like google wallet use to). Then I’d be happy about this…

    • yankeesusa

      Having to use pin is a locksreen. Or do you mean having to use it without any lockscreen whatsoever until you use the app? If that’s the case then i see the reason why they require it. People will just start having their phone stolen and then give access to all kinds of stuff. That will never happen. Their is a reason they require this.

    • The Group Ride

      This is possible on the Galaxy Note 5 using Samsung Pay. You don’t have to have a traditional lock screen turned on. But when you slide up from the home screen to open the credit card payment, that’s when you need to enter a PIN or use your fingerprint scanner.

  • EngineerGunter

    Read: screw you Cyanogenmod users.

  • Cyberstriker

    It’s interesting Google claims android pay will work on all android smartphones I have a old Samsung Galaxy Note 3 I’ve tried to download android pay at the Google play store and it said my device isn’t compatible, looks to me Google’s lying cause they’re advertising android pay works with all android devices.