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Taking ATMs to the next level with card-free access
March 27, 2017
Wells Fargo now allows customers to use any of its ATMs by entering a one-time access code obtained from the bank’s smartphone app.
Share this on Facebook now.Share this on Twitter now.Share this on LinkedIn now.Share this with Email now.Share this with Print now.Note: To obtain a one-time access code, log in to the Wells Fargo mobile app, tap the menu in the upper right corner, then “Account Services” and “Card Free ATM Access.” Select “Get Code” and the app will send you one that will be active for 30 minutes. At the ATM, select “Use an Access Code” at the lower right of the screen. Enter your 8-digit code and PIN to reach the ATM’s main menu.
With a hundred things on her mind, Tamika Powell rushed out of the house for work — only to realize later that her gas tank was near empty and her wallet was at home.
It’s a good thing she had her smartphone. After just a few taps on her device, Powell received a one-time access code for a nearby ATM where she could get cash. The new mobile banking feature by Wells Fargo allowed her to access the gas money she needed, no ATM or debit card necessary.1
“It was an absolute life saver,” said Powell, a Wells Fargo customer service representative in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I only needed to go through a few steps on my phone to get the code. Once I entered the code and my PIN at the ATM, I was able to do any transaction that my debit card would let me do.”
Wells Fargo introduced the card-free technology across the U.S. on March 25, making it the first large bank in the U.S. to offer the feature for its entire network of 13,000 ATMs, said Jonathan Velline, head of branch and ATM banking for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels. It gives added convenience to mobile users, while still providing the familiar and traditional ATM card service, he said.
Later this year, Wells Fargo plans to introduce near-field communication (NFC) technology to many of its ATMs, allowing customers to access the ATM using their mobile wallet. NFC technology allows electronic devices to talk to each other wirelessly within a few inches of each other.
“We’re doing this because we want our customers to have options,” Velline said. “An increasing number of our customers are using mobile first, because it’s convenient. But we recognize that some customers still aren’t super comfortable with using a phone to get cash and would rather just stick with their tried-and-true card.”
Customers like Powell, who participated in a pilot in late 2016, have provided invaluable feedback about the card-free ATM, said Adam Vancini, head of operations for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels. He said his own experience using the feature was seamless and positive.
“Aside from it being a cool experience, it has huge practical benefit,” Vancini said. “Now, if I happen to leave my wallet at home, it’s okay because as long as I have my phone, I have another way to access my account and withdraw cash. That brings me some peace of mind, and I hope that’s what our customers will feel, as well.”
With its latest entry in digital banking, Wells Fargo is well positioned to serve the growing number of customers who have gone mobile with many aspects of their lives — including their banking, according to Peter Wannemacher, a senior analyst for Forester, a leading technology and market research company.
“Wells Fargo, for example, already has a good mobile app — and the company is now being proactive by rolling out cardless ATM access and other next-generation features,” he said in a recent blogpost. “There are many scenarios and mobile moments where cardless ATM transactions will prove their worth in convenience and value to customers.”
Velline said the card-free ATM technology broadens the company’s omnichannel approach, providing financial services through mobile, desktop, bricks-and-mortar branches, and other channels.
“Our signature omnichannel strategy is to give customers the ability to move seamlessly within and between different channels,” he said. “We understand the real power of mobile in its ability to enhance all of our other channels — in this case, the ATM.”
For Powell, the smartphone-based ATM access code was an instant hit — one that she will keep in mind for those occasions when she might be without her debit card.
“It took only a few seconds to use,” she said. “Since I’ve had the experience now, I can help our customers by answering their questions and easing any stress they might have about trying something new.”
 The entire fleet of Wells Fargo ATMs has One-Time Access Code technology. Note that some ATMs are located within secure locations that may require customers to swipe their cards for entry.
Written by:Sara Harrison
Contributions from:Richard Burnett
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How to Withdraw Money Without an ATM Card
Every now and then, you need cash.
Most people have an ATM card from their bank that they can use to withdraw money, but these days that landscape is changing.
According to a report from the FDIC, millions of Americans don’t have bank accounts, whether they don’t qualify for one or don’t want one.
Or perhaps you need to withdraw some cash and lost your ATM card and need to wait a week before a new one is issued.
In This Article
Ways to Withdraw Money Without a Debit Card
Whatever the reason or circumstance, what can you do if you don’t have an ATM card and need to pull out cash? It can be tricky, but these are some options you may consider. Each option lists what you will need in order to get your hands on your cash.
1. Write Yourself a Check
This is the easiest way to get cash without an ATM card.
- A bank account
- Paper checks
All you need to do is write yourself a check, either payable to yourself or “Cash” and take it to your bank to cash. If you don’t have your ATM card, you will need to present your driver’s license or ID to the teller.
If you don’t have a bank account at the bank where you’re cashing the check, you will most likely not be able to cash the check, or they may require that you pay a fee or sign up to become a customer to be able to cash it.
2. Use Your Bank’s Cardless ATM
Select banks now offer cardless ATM usage to make it more digitally safe for customers to pull out money.
- A bank account at any of the banks mentioned below in bullets
- A smartphone with that bank’s app installed
With the onset of hackers being able to steal customers’ ATM card numbers, banks are using this technology to cut down on fraud at ATM machines.
The banks claim this is a safer way to pull out money from the ATM, since it will require more digital security measures, such as scanning a barcode at the ATM machine for authorization to withdraw cash from your account.
It’s also convenient for customers who don’t want to carry an ATM card.
How to Get Cash Through the Bank’s App
Wells Fargo allows you to take advantage of 13,000 ATMs without a debit card. You use the bank’s app to get a one-time 8-digit code and use that as your ATM PIN.
BBVA offers Mobile Cash, which lets you send money using a cell phone to any BBVA ATM so you can pick it up, or you can send it to someone who can pick it up. If the sender is not a BBVA customer, they will need to pay a fee.
BMO Harris and Bank of Hawaii offer barcodes instead of numerical PINs, and when you’re at the ATM you need to scan the QR code, plus enter your PIN to verify your identity.
These is a list of banks that offer this feature:
- Bank of America
- Bank of Hawaii
- Chase Bank
- Fifth Third Bank
- Salem Five
- Wells Fargo
- Wintrust Financial
3. Use a Prepaid Card
If you don’t want to open a bank account try this option.
If you don’t have a bank account and don’t plan on opening one in the near future, you may consider using a prepaid card that works at the ATM machine, in the event that you’re in a pinch and need cash.
4. Use a Payment App from Your Smartphone
There’s a reason why “there’s an app for that” phrase has become commonplace. You can turn to apps to send money to someone, who might be able to withdraw the money for you.
- The app installed
- A bank account or an accepted prepaid card that allows you to make transfers to another person’s account
You can easily send money to your friends and have them pull it out in cash for you.
Keep in mind that with this option, you won’t be able to pull out large sums of money. There are most likely restrictions on how much you can send. For example, Square Cash only allows you to withdraw $250 per transaction.
Apps that let you send and receive money:
- Square Cash
- Google Wallet
- Facebook Messenger
One of the better-known apps to send and receive money is Venmo, which has become a verb: “Just Venmo me.”
It’s free to use and all you need is the person’s Venmo username, phone number, or email to send money. Both parties need to be signed up with Venmo in order to use it.
Venmo also accepts prepaid debit cards (in case you don’t have a bank account), but the card needs to be in your name.
Zelle is another well-known way to send and receive money, but you must have a bank account, since the platform caters to sending money to and from different banks, almost instantly.
Banks that support the use of Zelle:
- Ally Bank
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- PNC Bank
- Wells Fargo
This is a prepaid card that works in tandem with the app. The prepaid card draws funds directly from your Square Cash app account rather than your bank and allows you to withdraw cash at an ATM.
It’s free to put money on the card. You’re allowed to withdraw $250 per 24 hour period, $1,000 a week, and $1,250 a month.
You are assigned a $Cashtag URL, which can be used to pay anyone or receive money from anyone.
With PayPal, you can send money to someone with just an email address. Keep in mind to choose the option that says “pay friends and family,” otherwise the person receiving the funds will get hit with a fee.
You can send money with Google Pay by entering the recipient’s phone number and put in the amount you want to send.
If you and your friends and family use Facebook Messenger, you can send money by selecting “payments” and including the amount and recipient.
5. Emergency Cash Service
You bank may offer an emergency cash service, in the event that your card is lost or stolen, but in this case you need to report to your bank that the card is in fact, lost. The bank will then deactivate the card and issue you a new one by mail.
If you constantly find yourself in a bind to get cash, it might benefit you to just open a bank account.
There are plenty of online banks like Ally Bank or Capital One 360 that have simple checking and savings accounts that don’t cost much and may even earn you interest.
How do cardless ATMs work? Pros and cons
Sure, cash transactions are on the decline in the digital age. So quick and convenient access to cash may not be something that’s always on your mind. But when you need it, it’s nice to have.
Cardless ATMs, which allow you to transact ATM business on your smartphone’s bank app, are a convenient and tech-savvy way to get money from your bank account if you forget your debit card or want to reduce the amount of times you touch a screen in the middle of a pandemic.
What are cardless ATMs and how do they work?
Cardless ATMs provide access to your account and allow you to withdraw cash without the need for a physical card. Instead, cardless ATMs rely on account verification via text message or a banking app on your smartphone.
There are a few different ways that cardless ATMs function. The two main types of cardless technology are quick response (QR) codes and near-field communication (NFC).
To use a cardless ATM with a QR code you first set the mobile withdrawal up on your banking app. The ATM will then display a QR code on the screen for you to scan with your phone before dispensing the money.
Near-field Communication (NFC)
Some services like Apple Pay use NFC, or near field communication, technology. To use NFC at a cardless ATM, you need to open the app on your mobile device, choose the linked bank account you want to withdraw from, and tap your phone against the designated reader. To complete the transaction, the ATM will then prompt you to either type in your PIN (just as if you had inserted your physical card).
What are the pros of using cardless cash?
“Our phone is slowly becoming our wallet,” says Drew Cheneler, founder of Simple Money Lyfe. He notes that some people don’t memorize their account information and rely on facial recognition or fingerprints to access their accounts. Some cardless ATM software allows you to do the same.
2. Access to all of your accounts
If you have accounts at multiple banks, you probably have one that you use most frequently. You may not even carry the other bank cards with you all the time, especially if you’re traveling for work or on vacation and trying to travel light. Cardless ATMs allow you to still have access to all of your accounts. That’s especially helpful if you aren’t near an in-network ATM for one account, but are for another, since out-of-network ATMs often have higher fees. So the convenience of cardless ATMs could also save you a few bucks. Having access to all of your accounts could save you quite a bit in ATM fees by giving you flexibility to choose an account that has in-network ATMs nearby.
3. No need to carry a card at all
It isn’t always convenient to carry a wallet, purse or something else to hold your physical cards. All you need is to grab your smartphone if you’re going for a jog or a walk through the neighborhood. If you decide to grab some money on the way home, cardless ATMs give you that option.
Although they aren’t risk-free, a few features of cardless ATM withdrawals make them more secure. For starters, scammers can’t use skimmers to steal your card data because you don’t insert your card into the ATM terminal. Since the codes are one-time use only, it does a hacker little good to steal it. Cardless withdrawals also often require two-step authentication. Not only would hackers need to know your PIN, they would also need to have your phone and know how to access it. Not lugging your wallet with you all the time, also reduces the chances of being pickpocketed or robbed.
While cardless ATM withdrawals won’t entirely eliminate the need to touch the ATM, they do cut down on contact. And the fewer touches the better, considering how many people might touch an ATM between cleanings; especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the cons of using cardless cash?
Cardless ATMs aren’t available everywhere. Even if your bank provides the service and your phone is compatible with the technology, you still need an ATM capable of handling cardless withdrawals. That may limit you some depending on the availability near you.
Cardless ATMs rely on smartphones to operate. If your bank utilizes an app, your phone has to be compatible with that app or you can’t use it.
3. Phone Security
While cardless ATM transactions are generally more secure, they pose a different set of risks.
“Since bank cards are being replaced by phones, criminals will now be more enticed to target and hack your phone to mine your data, information, and even change your phone and bank app settings,” says Ricardo Pina, founder of The Modest Wallet. So, make sure you keep your phone secure if you have banking apps installed.
Popular accounts with cardless ATM access
Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are all compatible with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. Since cardless ATM apps at these banks work on each of these three services, they are compatible with both Android and Apple phones.
- Chase: Chase provides cardless ATM service with consumer debit cards (excluding CPC Privileges card), business debit cards (excluding Business Associate cards) and Chase Liquid cards.
- Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo Debit and EasyPay cards can be linked to a digital wallet and used with cardless ATMs.
- Bank of America: Consumer, U.S. Trust, and small-business debit cards are all eligible for cardless ATM use.
Cardless ATMs are a convenient, secure and clean way to get access to your cash without a card, and they can be handy in an emergency even if you don’t use them regularly.
Atm no card
How to Withdraw Money Without an ATM Card
What happens when you find yourself in need of cash, but without your ATM card? If you are unfortunate enough to have your debit card stolen, you lose your card or simply forget to bring it with you, and you need cash, there are a couple of ways to solve the problem so you can get the money you need.
Ask the Teller for Help
Go inside the bank and explain to the teller that you do not have your ATM card on hand. The teller has the ability to look up your account information, and may ask for your state-issued driver’s license or ID card according to bank policy. You will need to fill out a withdrawal slip with your account number, which the teller can provide if you don't know it, the amount of money you need and your signature. The teller can then withdraw the money from your account and complete the transaction.
Write a Check to Yourself
If you have your checkbook, writing a check made out to cash will get you cash without an ATM card. Give your check to the bank teller or to a cashier at a local retailer and receive your funds in return. The safest bet is to present the check at your bank, as the check will be readily accepted. When visiting a retail store or bank where you do not have accounts, call ahead to see if they will accept a check from you made payable to cash. A check made out to cash is not secure. This means, the check gets lost, the finder can receive the money unless you stop payment on the check first. Because of that risk, do not write out the check until arriving at the bank or retailer.
Access Your Emergency Cash Service
Some banks offer a convenient emergency cash service. To use this benefit, contact your bank and report your card lost or stolen. You will be given an emergency code number to key into the ATM, enabling you to withdraw cash without using a card. Use this service only if your card is truly lost or stolen as your ATM card will be deactivated, forcing you to apply for a new card and wait for its arrival.
Use a Smartphone
A mobile cash withdrawal feature for your smartphone eliminates the need for an ATM card. To get this feature, you’ll need to first register with your bank. The registration can be done at the bank branch or through the bank’s Internet banking service. Once registered, download the mobile banking app to your smartphone. The app allows you to set up a withdrawal and then it electronically transmits a 2D bar code to your smartphone. Upon arrival at the ATM, scan the bar code for authorization to withdraw cash from your account.
Lori Hubbard has over 18 years of experience in the marketing and business field with a focus on marketing strategy and small business development. Hubbard holds a Master of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Cincinnati. An avid sports fan, Hubbard has coached high school and club volleyball for over 10 years.
Cardless ATM options: What it is and How to use it
Cardless ATMs are now being offered by some of the top banks, making accessing your cash even easier. With secure apps installed on your mobile phone, you can access your digital wallet to withdraw the money from a cardless ATM. Your phone is already at your fingertips – now your cash will be too.
Find the right checking account for you by comparing each of the banks’ key features — from minimum opening deposit to number of cardless ATM locations nationwide.
|Chase Secure Banking℠||Cardless ATM access is currently available on Chase ATMs where you see a cardless symbol.||$4.95||$0||Go to site|
|Chase Total Checking®||Cardless ATM access is currently available on Chase ATMs where you see a cardless symbol.||$12||$0||Go to site|
|Chase Business Complete Banking℠||Cardless ATM access is currently available on Chase ATMs where you see a cardless symbol.||$15||$0||Go to site|
|PNC Virtual Wallet||Nearly 18,000 PNC ATMs nationwide. Most of these ATMs offer card-free access.||$7||$25 if opening in person, $0 online||Read review|
What are cardless ATMs and how do they work?
A cardless ATM works by providing you with a unique code that you enter into an ATM to withdraw cash when you don’t have your card. This is beneficial if you’re on a run, at the beach, at an amusement park or anywhere else you don’t want to carry a card. You can even share your code with friends or family members so they can withdraw money when you’re not there.
Can I get cardless cash from any ATM?
You can only get cash from an ATM without a debit card when you use an ATM owned by your bank that has a cardless cash or contactless feature.
There are five different types of cardless ATMs, so it depends on which one you’re using.
1. Banks with cardless ATMs
Major banks in the US have started offering cardless ATMs that allow you to withdraw cash using near-field communication (NFC). These banks typically partner with the Mastercard cardless ATM network or the Visa cardless ATM network to offer this feature to customers.
How to withdraw money
- Download the bank’s mobile app.
- Schedule your withdrawal in the mobile app.
- Scan your QR code or enter your debit PIN at the ATM.
2. Apple Pay cardless ATMs
Apple Pay is accepted at most cardless ATMs including Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America. Apple Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) for cardless ATM access. To verify that an ATM is NFC-enabled, look for the contactless symbol.
How to withdraw money
- Open your Apple Pay Wallet.
- Select which card you want to use.
- Tap your phone against the contactless symbol.
- Enter your card’s PIN.
The ATM will then verify your identity and finalize your transaction.
3. Google Pay cardless ATMs
Google Pay works the same as Apple Pay. You can withdraw money at any ATM that has the contactless symbol.
How to withdraw money
- Open your Google Pay Wallet.
- Click on your card you wish to use.
- Tap your phone against the contactless symbol and enter your PIN.
The ATM will then finalize your transaction.
4. CashTapp cardless ATMs
Select Capital One 360 Checking customers can withdraw money at any cardless ATM with a CashTapp sticker. Use the ATM finder in the CashTapp app to find a cardless ATM near you.
How to withdraw money
- Enter the amount you wish to withdraw into the CashTapp app.
- Move your phone near the CashTapp sticker on the ATM until it’s securely connected.
- Follow the prompts on your phone to verify your transaction and get your money.
5. Paydiant cardless ATMs
Many small banks offer cardless ATM access to customers through Paydiant, which is owned by PayPal. Paydiant has over 72,000 ATM locations across the US. It uses an app-generated QR code to grant you cardless ATM access.
How to withdraw money
- Open your mobile banking app and locate a cardless ATM near you.
- Request your withdraw.
- Click on the Mobile Cash Access option on the ATM.
- Use your phone to scan the QR code on the ATM’s screen.
- Grab your cash from the ATM.
You may be limited to the amount of money you can withdraw daily from your account. But this varies between accounts and banks. Check your bank’s account disclosure to see what your cash withdrawal limit is.
Can someone else pick up my cash from a cardless ATM?
Some banks may offer a sharing option where you can have someone else pick up your cash. Check with your bank to see if this is an option. In some cases, you just need to provide the app with the appropriate person’s mobile phone number.
You can connect with a cardless ATM through app-generated codes or near-field communication (NFC). Here’s how they differ:
- App-generated codes. These are typically QR codes, although they can be a series of numbers. If your ATM uses this type of technology, you request a withdraw in your mobile app and then scan or enter the code once you get to the ATM. Then, the ATM verifies your identity and authenticates your transaction.
- NFC.Some ATMs use NFC to conduct cardless transactions. With this type of cardless ATM, you tap your phone against the ATM’s contactless symbol and your phone’s digital wallet pulls up. From there, you select which card you want to use from your wallet and enter your PIN. Then, the ATM authenticates your transaction.
Compare checking accounts with cardless ATM access
Open any of these checking accounts today to enjoy cardless ATM access.
Using a cardless ATM has these benefits.
- The convenience of traveling light. With a cardless ATM, you have the ability to travel light and leave the debit card at home when the occasion calls for it. You can also quickly access cash in emergencies — even when you’ve left your wallet at home.
- You can share it with your trusted family and friends. This makes it easier to give family members limited access to the account when they need it. Rather than paying for extra debit cards or worrying about how much they withdraw, you can control their spending by using the app.
- No additional costs for using it. The app works the same as a debit card when withdrawing money. As long as you’re using cardless ATMs in your bank’s network, you should not be charged any additional fees.
- Increased security. Your cardless ATM verification code will typically expire after a set period of time — usually 30 minutes or so. The code is also for one use only, rather than a debit card which prompts you for the same code each time you use it.
Can you catch COVID-19 from handling cash?
There’s no evidence suggesting you can catch COVID-19 from handling cash, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests washing your hands after you’ve dealt with money to keep up hygiene that can slow the spread of this disease. If you’re concerned about withdrawing cash from an ATM, consider a cardless ATM to minimize contact with the machine.
Here are a few things to watch out for when using a cardless ATM.
- Only at select banks. Right now, only select banks in the US offer cardless ATMs, limiting your choices when making comparisons.
- Relies on ATM’s network. If the ATM network is down, you will not be able to use the code to withdraw money until it is up and running again.
- Cardless ATM fraud. If someone gets ahold of your bank’s login credentials and PIN, they can connect your account to their phone and withdraw money without needing your physical debit card.
Two-step verification and near-field communications (NFC) are two measures that typically make it safer to use a cardless ATM over a traditional one because it eliminates the threat of skimming devices. Still, you should still be mindful of how to protect your money when grabbing cash.
- Protect your online banking details
Never share the password to your online bank account. With the password, people could gain access to your cardless cash details and make withdrawals without your consent.
- Monitor suspicious transactions on your account
Although banks take precautions to protect your information, there is always the possibility of a hack. If you notice unauthorized withdrawals from your account using cardless cash, notify the bank immediately.
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