The Covid-19 pandemic has made the world wary of touching surfaces in public places. ATM kiosks, where punching of multiple keys by multiple people is inevitable, are understandably seen as risky places.
In the event, it was equally inevitable that banks began contemplating 'contactless' ATMs. And as ever, technology looks to be the saviour.
As per media reports, the Mumbai-based AGS Transact Technologies, a provider of cash management services in India, is testing its contactless ATMs at three banks in India. AGS Transact, for the record, manages 70,000 ATMs for banks in India.
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Just a nifty change
1: Open the Bank mobile app on smartphone, select the QR Cash Withdrawal.
2: Enter the withdrawal amount on the app, scan the QR code on ATM screen.
3: Confirm the amount by clicking on ‘proceed’ in the app
4: Enter the PIN to authenticate the transaction
5: Voila, collect the cash.
Come to think of it, it is just a nifty turnaround from the existing system where magnetic stripe card and PIN number is used to identify the cardholder. The new plan just puts to use QR code.
In the proposed plan, customers have to use their mobile device and the bank's mobile app. A QR code is given to them via the app and they have to use their mobile device to scan that code on the ATM screen. The machine will use the code to identify the account.
Quite simply, customers will have to enter the amount they wish to withdraw and their PIN number on their mobile device. The contactless ATM will interact with the app and then distribute the cash.
Scope for skimming ruled out
AGS Transact's CTO, Mahesh Patel, has been quoted as saying that the contactless ATM's QR code is safer to use than a debit card because it eliminates the risk of being skimmed. The process to make a withdrawal is also faster, taking approximately 25 seconds from start to finish.
The good news for banks is the software application for contactless transactions can be integrated within the banks' existing apps. However, it might need two months time to integrate, as mobile banking, ATM operations and maintenance services have to be seamlessly integrated.