Bank processors over the past several years have worked to combine cardless technology with a continuing consumer demand for cash, a trend that took on momentum on Wednesday with an announcement from Fiserv Inc. that three ATM manufacturers are now supporting the company’s 3-year-old CardFree Cash service.
ATM makers Genmega, Triton, and Hyosung America are enabling the service on their machines in retail locations, the Brookfield, Wis.-based processor said. The service is already supported on 19,000 machines linked to processor Worldpay Inc., and on Wednesday Fiserv added that some independent sales organizations, including NationalLink Inc., are enabling it on their networks. NationalLink operates some 15,000 ATMs, according to Fiserv’s announcement.
To use CardFree Cash, users obtain an access code, which they can activate from their phones. With the access code and a temporary PIN, they can then get cash at any machine supporting Fiserv’s Popmoney network. Fiserv promotes the service as a convenience for consumers who have forgotten or lost their wallets, or who don’t want to carry a wallet with them on trips to the beach or similar excursions.
“Cardless cash is at the forefront of providing convenient and secure cash withdrawals from the palm of your hand,” said Sam Kandah, president of Glendora, Calif.-based NationalLink, in a statement.
Other backers of cardless ATM access stress the safety of the technique, since it reduces the risk of skimming at the machine, as well as the theft of PINs by remote observation. This is a tack taken by Fiserv rival Fidelity National Information Services Inc., for example, which introduced its Cardless Cash service in 2015. Users activate Cardless Cash from a banking app on their mobile phones. Retail ATM network operator Cardtronics plc announced last summer it would start integrating Cardless Cash in its U.S. fleet.
Despite rising use of electronic payments, cash use in the United States is still growing, expert say, particularly when taking into account not just ATM access but cash back at the point of sale, as well. “Research shows the need for cash isn’t going away and consumers expect greater speed, ease, and convenience in accessing their money,” said David Keenan, senior vice president, for product management in card services at Fiserv, in a statement Wednesday.