Barclays is trialling smartphone cash withdrawals.
The UK's first contactless mobile cash service will allow the bank's customers to withdraw up to £100 in-branch, with just a tap of their Android smartphone or contactless debit card. The technology offers an alternative to traditional cash withdrawals from specially outfitted ATM machines.
The service is initially being piloted in the North before rolling out to over 180 Barclays branches in the New Year. It will be available on more than 600 in-branch machines. Barclays customers with an Android smartphone or contactless debit card would need to tap their phone/card against the contactless reader before entering their PIN on the machine and withdrawing their cash as normal.
The Contactless Cash functionality will only be available on NFC-enabled Android devices that have downloaded the latest version of Barclays Mobile Banking. The facility is limited to Android smartphones, with iPhone fans left out in the cold. Apple restricts the use of iPhones' NFC chips to its own Apple Pay facility and there's no hook-in that for third-party apps from banks or anyone else.
Barclays claims Contactless Cash offers increased security because it removes the risk of magnetic card skimming and distraction fraud, since a smartphone never needs to leave a customer's hand.
In a statement, Ashok Vaswani, chief exec of Barclays UK, said: "Our customers now expect to be able to use their smartphone to make their everyday purchases. We want taking out cash to be just as easy. With Contactless Cash customers can quickly and securely take out money with just a tap of their smartphone – a first for the UK."
Cindy Provin, chief strategy and marketing officer at Thales e-Security, cautioned that the security of the system is reliant on making sure customer's smartphones are free of malware. "It's encouraging to see the payments industry continue its commitment to embracing digitalisation to improve efficiency of payments and further reduce the possibility of fraud with ATM withdrawals," Provin said. "However, with risks to mobile payments – such as malware already present on an end-user's device – it is critical that security remains front of mind when developing such innovations." ®