Although the card schemes continue to promote the “nirvana” of a cashless economy, it is actually cards that may soon become irrelevant.
The signs are numerous. NFC, everyone’s favorite “technology in waiting,” combined with a mobile device, has the ability to leap beyond the card format and replace it. EMV migration in the U.S. could make that prospect even more likely.
QR code applications are proliferating everywhere. At least two ATM manufacturers are testing solutions that use online banking to pre-stage cash withdrawals from an ATM — no card required. Can other payment applications, even person-to-person through nonbank entities, be far behind?
New biometric technologies even dispense with the need to use a card at the ATM as a means of identifying who you are. Palm vein, finger vein, iris scans, and even facial recognition are all options. In fact, ATMIA hosted a webinar on Aug. 14 that examined a number of case studies where financial institutions have deployed such technology.
This vision of the future is also captured by a new joint initiative between ATMIA and the IPF. Research is well underway to determine what is necessary to facilitate a wide variety of cardless transactions at the ATM — including payments options that could bypass the global networks.
Originally dubbed the ATM Acquirers Alliance, it has just been renamed as the Integrated Payments Alliance, in order to reflect the increasingly broad scope of the project. To learn more about it, click here.
One thing we can be certain of is that innovation and evolution in the payments space is coming very rapidly. And cash will continue to be a big part of it. It will be quite interesting to watch these new developments take shape in the months ahead.
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Cardless ATMs More Likely in a Cashless Economy