DigitalTimes.ie has been following the developments in mobile payments closely. Some experts say the credit card, and maybe even the physical wallet, could be extinct in the near future. Mobile payments are having teething problems such as a lack of trust from the consumer and the register operators’ unfamiliarity with the systems. However, another step into the future has been announced that may prove more popular with the public.
British banks Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest (a subsidiary of RBS) have launched a system whereby customers can withdraw cash from an ATM using a code from their phone rather than a bank card. The smartphone app called ‘GetCash’ allows users to request up to £100 by entering a six-digit code generated through the smartphone into the ATM.
The app would be very handy if you lost your purse or left your wallet at home. Users could also use the system to help a friend in trouble, or even a backpacker on the other side of the world who had just been robbed. You could send the code as a text to anyone, and they could go to any RBS group cash machine, input it and get themselves out of trouble.
The codes will be valid for three hours and the people withdrawing the cash would not be able to take out more or less than the amount specified.
Australian bank NAB has also expressed interest in developing the service for its customers. A similar system has been developed by cash machine operator NCR. This requires users to scan a barcode to withdraw the money. NCR is looking for banks and building societies to adopt the software. GetCash is already available to NatWest customers in England and Wales, and RBS customers in Scotland. If successful it surely can’t be long before we see the innovation in Ireland.