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You can now use your phone to get cash from ATMs

May 19th, 2016 at 4:40 PM
Android Pay ATM

There’s still a lot of places that can’t take mobile payments, but everyone likes cash. So it’s a big deal that starting today, select Bank of American ATMs will let you tap your Android phone to withdraw cash.

The program, named Cardless ATM, is rolling out to Bank of America ATMs in San Fransisco and Silicon Valley today, for a total of 2,400 ATMS. 5,000 machines nationwide should be enabled with the feature by the end of the year. 

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Using it looks pretty simple — just select a Bank of America debit card in the Android Pay app, and tap your phone to the contactless symbol on the ATM. You’ll then be prompted to enter your PIN and withdraw cash as per usual.

It’s a big step towards finally enabling people to ditch their wallets. A combination of contactless payment and cash should see you through most any transactions you could need to make.

It’s also the first new security feature on ATMs in a while. ATMs are constantly being targeted with near-undetectable card skimmers that copy your magnetic stripe (and sometimes capture your PIN), letting thieves clone the card and make fake transactions.

Contactless payment is much more secure, and there’s no physical contact to skim. It’s going to take a long time to roll out contactless payment to the tens of thousands of ATMs nationwide, but hopefully this particular future isn’t too far away.

It’s been a good couple days for Android Pay. Yesterday, Google announced that it’s bringing Android Pay to mobile web browsers and apps, which should let you buy stuff on your phone much more conveniently and easily. Add ATM capability to that, and it seems that Google is gunning hard to get in front of Apple on mobile payments.

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