ATMs get a promising facelift
DIEGO LUNA | BUSINESS EDITOR | THE USD VISTA | @diegotothemoon
The eye-scanning ATM is here. Well, not exactly. Citigroup Inc. is currently beta testing a cardless ATM that would allow customers to withdraw money by simply scanning their eye.
According to the Huffington Post, cash is still the most common form of payment for most Americans.
However, over the last several years, debit cards have been a common alternative to cash which have been widely used by students at the University of San Diego.
Although this new eye-scanning technology sounds similar to something out of a science fiction film, it turns out that it’s not.
In fact, other large banks such as JPMorgan and Bank of America have also tried to create their own version of a cardless ATM.
How does this new technology work?
First, customers would check the Citigroup mobile app on their smartphone or tablet ahead of time to sign in and select how much money they want to withdraw. Then, they would approach the ATM, which would quickly scan their iris to verify their identity.
The ATM would connect to the app and spit out the right amount of cash. According to Citigroup, the entire transaction will occur all within 10 seconds.
If this technology is proven effective and safe, other large banks have said they might include a similar technology in their ATMs.
When asked about the cardless ATMs, students at USD had positive reactions towards this new technology. Although some students remained skeptical about the eye-scanning procedure, most agreed that newer technology adds value to a seamless banking experience.
Freshman Andrew Higgins shared his thoughts on the cardless ATM.
“More and more people are using mobile and online banking,” Higgins said. “It makes sense that we only continue to use the newer forms of technology.”
Convenience is what many customers look for in new products and services, according to Citigroup.
Banks are looking for new ways to secure consumers’ access to their cash rather than using the ATM card which has become a staple in consumers’ wallets for many years.
Apart from the convenience of new technologies, many students argue the safety of the account holder needs to be first and foremost with this new technology.
Senior Colton Michael Moore questioned the legitimacy of the eye-scanning process. Moore is concerned with the information attached to the voice and facial recognition features.
“I would like to know who has access to the eye-scanning process,” Moore said. “Do the banks safeguard this information or do they outsource it to another company?”
Safety features have been an important discourse among banks. There has been a gradual evolution in the way banks operate their ATMs.
It began as simple debit cards and PINS and now there are debit cards that have embedded microchips for easier and more secure payments.
Citibank in Los Angeles and BMO Harris Bank in Chicago and New York have already implemented cardless ATMs.
These cardless ATMs may not have an eye-recognition feature, but they do have a feature that allows their smartphone to mimic the debit card by using a QR code.
The QR code acts as a fingerprint and is unique to an individual transaction, according to BMO Harris Bank.
This QR code method takes 15 seconds as opposed to a 45 second traditional ATM withdrawal.
Freshman Katarina Basil wants to know the how much time it takes to get the money in your hand, from opening the app and logging in to getting the cash in your hands.
“How long does the entire phone pre-ordering process take?” Basil said. “Even the fastest app requires startup time, and I think just because the eye scan is quick, doesn’t necessarily mean the current process of swiping a card and entering a PIN is worse.”
The cardless ATMs can even be a great feature for those students who travel abroad, since there won’t be a need to carry a debit card everywhere you go.
This is great news especially since this new eye-scanning ATM is available in Canada’s Bank of Montreal. India’s ICICI banks have adopted a similar smartphone QR code approach and are currently being used.
This eye-scanning ATM might sound like something out of a James Bond or Back to the Future movie, but this is slowly becoming the facelift of the aging ATM machine many of us have used in the past.
Whether, the technology is available in the near or distant future, there are still ways to obtain a seamless banking experience.
The University of San Diego has its own campus banking center run by U.S. Bank which is located in the Hahn University Center. Here, students are allowed to access all their banking needs which include opening a checking or savings account.
Students can even turn their Torero Card into their everyday banking card.
Once you’ve opened your checking account with U.S. Bank, simply bring your Torero Card to any U.S. Bank branch and ask to have it connected to your checking account. Your Torero Card will be PIN-based just like a debit card.
Although this eye scanning technology is still in beta testing, students have shown their content as well as their discomfort with these cardless features.
However, there are other technologies in place to help students’ expand their financial knowledge while still being in tact with the latest in techology.
Whether your plan is to be a pioneer for the eye-scanning ATM, turn your Torero Card into your bank card, or seek information about financing your trip abroad, be sure to stay up to date.
It is important to know the the sources that are available to you to help ensure that your banking experience will be seamless.