Just when you thought that the smartphone payment revolution couldn’t produce any more surprises, new technology has been unveiled that will enable people to withdraw money from ATMs using only their phones.
For those using either the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) or NatWest mobile banking apps, this new service allows withdrawals of up to £100 to be made via smartphone.
The customer is given a six-digit code to enter into an ATM, and will then be able to retrieve cash from their account.
Access to the app requires a password, and the withdrawal code will not be revealed until the user taps the screen. These precautions are to prevent thieves from reading the code and using it to access the account.
Simple and Secure
In a statement, RBS have said that their system would be primarily aimed at those customers that had forgotten their bank cards, or those who wished to send cash to friends and family members in a hurry.
Should this take off, customers will be able to leave their wallets at home, in favour of paying for items and services via their smartphone.
Ben Green, head of the mobile division at RBS and NatWest, described the service as “a really simple and secure way to help our customers get cash whenever and wherever they need it.”
This service is open to any customers that have downloaded the bank’s free application and is available from any of the 8,000 RBS, NatWest or Tesco branded ATMs across the UK.
Initially, the withdrawal limit on the smartphone service will be a third of that which can be accessed via a card, at only £100 per transaction.
So far, the bank has suggested that 2.6 million of their customers already have the app installed on their smartphones, meaning that all of those people can start using this service straight away to access money from their bank accounts.
This new system is seen as an extension of the existing ‘emergency cash’ service that RBS provides, which allows people whose card is lost or stolen to access money from an ATM.
The Future is Bright…
This is not the only attempt at a smartphone bridge when it comes to handling money.
A similar system has been developed by the cash machine operator NCR, which requires users to scan a barcode – rather than enter a code – to withdraw money. However, this is still only in the development stage, with NCR looking for banks and building societies to adopt the software.
However, it’s not only RBS and NCR in this game. In the last year we’ve seen releases from O2, Barclays and Google that all claim to be the next stage in digital wallets.
With these advances being made all the time, it looks like we could be seeing a lot more of our financial services being handled through our mobile devices. From paying bills, to paying for a meal out, it looks like smartphone payments are here to stay.