What is a cardless ATM?

In today’s world, it seems like smartphones can give you access to virtually anything. And that includes your bank and credit card accounts—thanks to digital wallets, mobile apps and mobile payment tools.

But what about getting cash from the ATM? Turns out that’s sometimes possible too, depending on things like the ATM and your card issuer. Keep reading to learn more about how cardless ATMs work.

Key takeaways

  • Cardless ATMs make it possible to withdraw cash using your phone instead of a physical card.

  • Technologies like near-field communication (NFC), quick response (QR) codes and biometrics, as well as requiring a user to sign in to their banking app, can help verify a user’s identity in the absence of a physical debit card or credit card.

  • All Capital One ATMs have the option for cardless cash withdrawals. However, account eligibility as well as monthly and daily limits apply.

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What is a cardless ATM?

A cardless ATM—or contactless ATM—allows you to access your bank account and withdraw money without a physical card. To use the cardless option at the ATM, you’ll typically need your financial institution’s mobile app or your card information stored in your mobile wallet. Then you’ll choose a cardless option, authenticate the purchase and receive your cash.

How do cardless ATMs work?

There are three common types of technologies used for contactless payments, including cardless ATMs. Here is a closer look at all three:

  • NFC allows you to connect your phone to a nearby ATM. It’s the same technology that makes it possible to tap and pay with your phone when you check out at a store. To use it at a cardless ATM, you’ll generally sign in to your bank’s mobile app, choose your account, tap the phone against the ATM and enter your PIN.

  • QR codes allow you to withdraw money at an ATM, but you’ll first need to download your mobile banking app and sign in to the app to set up mobile withdrawal. Then you’ll scan the QR code on the ATM display.

  • Biometric verification is where the ATM uses facial recognition or fingerprint recognition to verify your identity. Then you can access your account and get cash without your debit card or credit card.

Withdrawing money using a cardless ATM

The financial institutions that offer cardless ATM withdrawals may vary on how to use them, so you should follow any prompts specific to your bank or credit union. 

Withdrawing cash from a cardless ATM can generally be done in these few easy steps: 

  1. Sign in to your bank’s app and choose the account you want to withdraw from. 

  2. Tap your phone to the reader—or scan the QR code on the ATM.

  3. Verify the transaction for the ATM withdrawal.

  4. Take your cash.

Advantages of using a cardless ATM

Using your phone can make it easy to access your financial information. And that’s true with cardless ATMs too. Here are some advantages of using cardless ATMs:

  • Less contact: With cardless ATMs, you may not be able to avoid touching the screen completely, but you can minimize it to help avoid spreading germs.

  • No wallet necessary: If you’ve ever run out and accidentally left your wallet at home—or wanted to limit what you’re carrying—you’ll likely appreciate the convenience of a cardless ATM.

  • Easy to use: You may already use a digital wallet to store your debit and credit card information for shopping. That can make heading to the bank to withdraw cash from a cardless ATM easier.

Drawbacks of using a cardless ATM

Like anything, cardless ATMs can have some disadvantages. Consider the following while using cardless ATMs:

  • Lack of widespread accessibility: Depending on where you bank and where you live, you may not have cardless ATM access, or your access may be limited. 

  • Phone and ATM compatibility: Not all phones are compatible with the technology or bank apps needed to use cardless ATMs.

  • Security risks: Despite two-factor authentication, verification codes and text message verification typically used with cardless transactions, it’s still important that you take steps to protect access to your personal information and account funds. Changing passwords frequently, updating sign-in information and keeping a close eye on banking information can help protect your information.

Cardless ATMs in a nutshell

In the fast-moving, high-tech world, your phone can be valuable for checking your email, making purchases, getting directions and banking. Cardless ATM transactions are just one more way your mobile device can be used to add ease and simplicity to your everyday life.

If you’re looking for even more ways to incorporate technology into your financial routine, explore the different types of digital payment solutions that can make using your Capital One card more secure and convenient.

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