Wells Fargo’s Cardless ATMs Continue Shift in Traditional Banking

Using just a smartphone, Wells Fargo customers can withdraw cash from their accounts.


No debit card? No problem. Beginning the last week of March, Wells Fargo customers will be able to withdraw money from their checking or savings accounts using their smartphone at any of the bank’s 13,000 branded ATMs.

To withdraw money, customers must use their Wells Fargo app to get a unique eight-digit code. They must then enter the code and their PIN at an ATM. That’s it — no card required.

The change could equate to faster ATM transactions for customers, which could improve overall customer satisfaction and loyalty. It could also mean reduced data theft, as eliminating cards renders card skimmers entirely useless.

There are, however, a few catches to Well’s Fargo’s new cardless ATMs that customers should know. For example, customers will not be able to use their phones to open security doors that some branches use to protect their ATMs after hours. Currently, those doors require a customer to swipe a debit card to get in.

Wells Fargo is the first U.S. bank to roll out cardless machines across its entire network, though Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have introduced similar technology at their ATMs in select markets, according to CNBC. The upgrades continue a shift from traditional banking practices.

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Wells Fargo has seen a sharp drop in the number of people opening accounts since a sales scandal involving the creation of more than 2 million fraudulent accounts came to light in September 2016. According to Consumerist, the bank has also experienced declines in credit card applications and decreased interactions between bank workers and customers.

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