Waiting in line for an ATM is never an enjoyable experience, less so fumbling for your debit card in the process. That's why three banks in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Illinois have been testing a service that allows bank customers to use an app that would allow them to retrieve ATM cash in mere seconds, no plastic necessary.
The three banks, Wintrust (IL), BMO (Chicago), and City National (Los Angeles), are all making banking easier with the app called Cardless Cash Access (CCS), which generates a QR code to scan at the ATM to make sure you are actually at the machine when the cash is dispensed. The app is developed by bank technology firm FIS, who has seen a surge of interest in its cardless ATM innovations.
An order for cold, hard cash can be placed up to 24 hours in advance of the pickup, or in the few seconds beforehand, say, while you're waiting on line for a machine. At the ATM machine, you open the CCS app in order to show the aforementioned code, and your cash is quickly dispensed. The cash retrieval process takes only about nine seconds compared to the 30 or 40 seconds spent on a traditional ATM run.
The technology also enables users to avoid card skimming, making for a more secure transaction. Even if someone were to steal your phone, they would need to know your phone lock passcode, your bank logins, and your PIN number in order to access your bank funds. The codes are presumably a one-time use thing, as each QR code is likely generated to a certain transaction and shouldn't be able to be used again.
There is one drawback, though: Internet connectivity. Currently, the app requires you have a strong phone signal in order to access your code and pick up the cash, though the developers are working on an offline mode that would grant access no matter how bad your signal is. Major banks like Chase and Bank of America have already initiating "virtual tellers" that help you get exact change, loan and credit payments and virtual conferencing. The bank of the future is nigh!