Wells Fargo has announced that NFC (near-field functionality) capabilities will be launched at over 5,000 automated teller machines all over the United States. Activation of the feature is done through the mobile wallet feature of a mobile phone. Currently over 40% of ATMs owned by Wells Fargo possess NFC capabilities. The bank intends to upgrade over 13,000 ATM faciltiies with the capabilities in the next two years.
To access any ATM that is Wells Fargo-branded without using a physical card, all that clients of the bank need to do is generate an access code from their Wells Fargo banking app. When Wells Fargo launched the access codes earlier in the year it became the first big bank in the United States to possess an entire fleet of ATMs that can be used card-free.
“This spring’s launch of one-time access code technology at all Wells Fargo ATMs has resulted in nearly three million card-free ATM access code transactions. Card-free ATM use will take another leap as we introduce NFC functionality,” said Community Bank’s Strategy and Administration head Jonathan Velline.
To initiate a transaction on a Wells Fargo ATM customers will be required to sign into mobile wallet features such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Wells Fargo Wallet for AndroidTM and Android PayTM. They will then be required to hold their wearable device or smartphone which possesses the mobile payment functionality close to an ATM terminal that is NFC-enabled. Wells Fargo ATMs which have the NFC feature will show a contactless symbol and customers will then key in their debit card PIN in order to complete the transaction.
Per Jim Smith, Wells Fargo’s virtual channels head, the volume of mobile payments in the United States are expected to triple by 2021. One of the factors that is being attributed to the rapid adoption of mobile payments is the use of Chip-and-PIN plastic cards after switching over from the magnetic stripe cards. While the Chip-and-PIN cards are more secure than magnetic strip ones transactions on the former take longer to process compared to the latter and thus making mobile payments more appealing since they are faster.
Additionally the smartphone has become such a common feature in people’s lives that it is more likely to someone to leave their home or office without their wallet but remember to carry their mobile phone. Other banks that are introducing or have already introduced NFC transactions at their ATMs include Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.