LAS VEGAS — Contactless payments are not new — card-free ATM transactions have been seen at fintech conference for years now — but they are getting more buzz lately, especially as the industry continues to debate the possibility of a cashless society.
How consumers will interact with their money in the future is of course the whole point behind the Money20/20 conference wrapping up today here, where companies of all kinds are demonstrating solutions to help the everyday consumer–and merchant–have a better experience with money.
This includes companies like Diebold Nixdorf, which is dedicated to forging—in its own words—“the future of connected commerce;” at Money 20/20 Diebold appears to be offering a middle ground between cash today and the cashless future with its “Extreme ATM” concept.
At the Exhibit hall at this year’s Money 2020, curious attendees (including myself) flocked to see what this tiny machine–much smaller than a traditional ATM, leaving that much more space for the retailer–could mean for the future.
The concept, an ATM that is less than 10 inches wide, is shown off as part of a retail and finance consumer experience. Visitors get to play around with mobile solutions (which allow users to build a shopping list at home before going to a physical location and checking out on their phones with TPiShop software), as well as the ATM.
Currently the ATM enables NFC and Bluetooth payments, as well as the ability to pay by scanning a QR code, which has been the most popular method of payment thus far, according to David Kuchenski, director of business development, design and new technology incubation for the company.
“There’s a bit of headwind right now behind Bluetooth and NFC,” says Kuchenski. “From Diebold’s perspective we want to use the mobile device to enhance a shopper’s experience. For a lot of consumes time is often the most valuable thing; to me that’s the most important benefit for the consumer.”
Using the ATM seems quite easy–a user can authenticate themselves using their fingerprint, which then opens up a PIN pad on the machine’s tiny iPad-like screen. Once entering their code, a user can complete all of the same actions as at a traditional machine–deposit, withdrawal, balance check, etc–without even going near a plastic card. The ATM at Money20/20 does not have a card reader at all.
Diebold wanted to “push the boundaries” on the concept, according to Kuchenski, but there is no reason the ATM cannot first roll out with a chip reader, for example, as well as contactless pay.
“The retail footprint is important for those retailers,” says Kuchenski, adding that the ATM’s compact design—which also features a screen similar in appearance to that of an iPad, in that it’s seamless—could make it an ideal fit for bars or convenience stores, or really any crowded space.
Contactless has not been a method of payment the U.S. has embraced as vigorously as some European brethren, like the U.K., which has adopted the solution for transportation needs like the London Underground. However, the solution is becoming more popular here as consumers flock to tech like smartwatches and other wearables.
As far as the “cashless” future goes, an ATM’s job is still to help consumers deposit and withdraw actual, physical cash—however, eliminating the need for a magnetic stripe or chip reader is a good first step for eliminating card use, which some see as one of the preliminary barriers to the future of money.
To learn more about contactless pay join us in Tel Aviv for Bank Innovation Israel this November 1-3. Register here.1 - Reader Likes This Post