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Ovation: Cardless ATMs & Virtual Tellers.


A Cardless ATM

Because we charged a couple gifts at Target during Christmastime, our credit card company sent us new cards with new numbers.  Better safe than sorry, I suppose, since there was such a big security breach with account numbers and PIN numbers and all.  It’s still a nuisance because we have to notify anyone who automatically charges the account of the new number.  The fact that my credit card company was acting so proactively made me worry about the safety of my electronic dollars.

Then, last night, I called our local pizza joint to place an order for delivery to our house.  Like I’d done dozens of times before, I gave the woman on the phone my credit card number, my card’s expiration date and the “three-digit security code on the back”.  It occurred to me, for the first time that, in addition to the zip code for the address where the pizza would be delivered, this woman now had all the information required she needed to use my card herself.

“Something needs to change.” I thought to myself.  And then I learned that change was, indeed, coming.

A Virtual Teller

A Virtual Teller

A new type of smarter ATMs will soon be replacing the simple, debit-card based machines that we all use now.  New cardless ATMS are the next step toward branchless banking.  Many banks, in an effort to lure younger, more tech-savvy, customers have already begun to use mobile wallets to let customers withdraw money with just a few clicks on a smartphone.  Using a smartphone app, customers can simply choose the amount of money that they want to withdraw using their phone rather than tapping an ATM keypad.  Once they approach an ATM, the smartphone communicates with the machine to complete a withdrawal and a receipt is sent via email.  Since neither a card nor a PIN code are required, the transaction is much more secure.

Many banks already accept deposits using smartphone apps that simply submit a photo of a check and process it as if it had been presented to a live teller.  ATMs are also getting a more human touch and some banks are already offering “virtual tellers” that appear on a video screen.  Better options for better security, including voice recognition, biometrics, fingerprinting and retinal scanning, are also being considered to prove a users identity and it won’t be long before ATMs in major cities begin to accept alternative currencies like bitcoin.  The banks that don’t keep up with technology will be the ones closing their branches the fastest.

Before long, people could be banking entirely through cell phones or televisions … we may be a completely cashless society with no need for ATMs at all.

I wonder how we’ll pay for our pizzas.


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Copyright © 2014


From → Ovations

  1. Barneysday permalink

    A completely cashless society is something the government dearly wants, and something we as private citizens do not want. If you have any bad feelings or suspicions about the level of NSA spying on every one of us today, just take your worst nightmare and imagine what life might be like if they can track every single dollar that passes through our accounts.


    • You make a good point. Of course, I’m already frustrated by the fact that one can hardly pay for a pair of socks at the mall any more without giving the clerk five minutes worth of information. I actually walked away from a purchase the other day because a young man refused to take my twenty-dollar bill if I didn’t give him my address.


      • Barneysday permalink

        Same here. They might insist on an address, or a zip code. I always respond that “you don’t need that,” and if they continue I walk away. I have on occasion gone to find a store manager to tell them how they just lost a sale. Lot’s of fun to see their faces.


  2. We pay for the pizzas with higher cholesterol. :>)


  3. thedogs'mother permalink

    Social security numbers on every medical form… I just put NA (not available) and they enter all zeros.
    Another shock was my eye doctor accessing all my medications by logging on to my pharmacy. And of course they were wrong. Dosages had been reduced, some discontinued, and others not added. Not a good idea.
    It always pays to be proactive – which is one of my mom-isms up there with ‘look behind things, look under things’ <- refrigerator


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