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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wells Fargo debuts card-free ATMs

Wells Fargo Bank N.A. became the first major U.S. bank to upgrade its entire fleet of 13,000 ATMs to card-free ATMs. Starting March 27, the bank's mobile customers nationwide can access their accounts using a one-time access code, instead of a card, to authenticate at an ATM. According to Wells Fargo, mobile banking has become its fastest growing channel, reaching a milestone of 20 million active customers in March.

"At Wells Fargo, we believe the future is cardless, and the launch of One-Time Access Code provides our 20 million mobile banking customers another convenient way to manage money," said Brett Pitts, the bank's Head of Digital for Virtual Channels. "This new ATM feature exemplifies Wells Fargo's commitment to innovation."

To access this feature, bank customers log into their Wells Fargo mobile app, select Card-Free ATM access under Account Services, and request a one-time use, eight-digit access code. When the customer arrives at a Wells Fargo ATM, the code along with the customer's debit or ATM PIN is entered into the ATM, which opens the main menu to complete transactions.

"Every time a customer walks up to an ATM or into a branch, chances are they’re carrying a phone, and we believe the real power of mobile is the ability to enhance the customer experience at our ATMs and branches," said Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo's Head of Branch and ATM Banking. "We're excited to provide our customers with more ways to conveniently and securely make ATM transactions."

Movement to cardless ATMs ongoing

For Wells Fargo, this step marks the first stage of a multiphase program. Later this year, the bank plans to enable customers to initiate cardless ATM transactions with tap-and-pay technology in near field communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones. At that point customers will be able to hold a phone near an NFC-enabled ATM terminal, and once authenticated, complete transactions. More than 40 percent of Well Fargo ATMs are NFC-enabled, the bank stated.

Well Fargo is not alone in upgrading its technology. With the Oct. 1, 2016, Mastercard EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) liability shift for ATMs come and gone, and Visa's Oct. 1, 2017, deadline looming, ATM network operators have been pressing hard to comply. Among the larger players, Payment Alliance International teamed with the FIS NYCE Payments Network in 2016, making FIS the first national payment network to support mobile phone-to-ATM transactions. More are expected to follow.

end of article

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