There's so much we can do with mobile phones and e-money these days, from paying for a coffee to repaying the £20 your friend lent you last Saturday. But there's still room for real cash - and smartphones can help people get hold of their physical money as well.
A story on mobilepaymentstoday.com tells us about NCR Mobile Cash Withdrawal, a mobile service that will let bank customers use their mobile to get money from an ATM.
Once they've installed an app on their phone, they can enter their PIN on the phone's screen and decide how much they want to withdraw. And they can do that before they actually reach the machine, whether they're waiting in line or nowhere near it yet. Once they're there, all they have to do is scan the 2D barcode on the ATM's screen and the cash is dispensed.
For bank customers, it means greater speed and convenience (and the fact that they don't need to carry a bank card).
From the bank's point of view, it's good news because there's no opportunity for fraudsters to 'skim' (copy information from a card's magnetic strip). Plus, there's no need for extra hardware on the ATM - no need for an NFC reader or barcode scanner, since the phone's camera works as a scanner.
NCR's looking for partnerships to pilot the service, which should 'hit the market before the end of the year'.
A spokesperson for thinkbanking commented, "We're seeing more and more banking services being developed for today's smartphones, promising greater security and convenience. We're sure to see some big changes over the next few years - although we'll have to wait and see which services people really take to."