‘ATM Killer’ Spare Releases v. 3.0 of App

  • Philip Ryan
  • August 10, 2016
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© Can Stock Photo Inc. / 2002Lubava1981The mobile payments app Spare wants to kill the ATM. More specifically, Spare wants to give customers access to cash from merchants for less than the cost of an ATM fee, and more security.

To use Spare, customers open their Spare app and locate a nearby merchant with cash on hand to dispense. They then go to the business and authenticate, again using their phones, at the point of sale, in order to get the cash.

Spare launched in 2014. Bank Innovation reported at that time:

The idea came from when Hughes was working at a large Los Angeles-area hotel that had a popular bar inside. Neither the bar nor hotel lobby had an ATM, so customers had to cross the busy street in front of the hotel to use a third-party ATM if they wanted to have cash on hand. Hughes had the insight that it would make more sense if the hotel or bar, both of which had cash behind the counter, could simply dispense it to customers. This is what Spare hopes to accomplish.

Yesterday Spare released version 3.0 of its app, with the following description in the iOS App Store:

~ Enhanced User Experience and Security
~ Created a More Reliable Mobile ATM Solution for our Customers

CEO D’ontra Hughes elaborated on this, telling Bank Innovation the update features enhanced security, an improved user interface, allows users to choose between four currencies, allows additional funding options, and is set up for API integration with financial institutions.

For consumers, the value proposition is convenience and lower fees. For banks and credit unions, the service can help save money on refunded ATM fees, and be a service to offer business customers. For businesses, it brings customers in the door.

Spare is one of six startups in the spring class of INV Fintech, this site’s sister fintech accelerator.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

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