Wells Fargo is rolling out an easier way to conduct cardless transactions on its automated teller machines.

The bank said Tuesday that it is upgrading its 13,000 ATMs over the next two years to let customers withdraw cash and conduct other transactions using Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay apps instead of a debit card.

“[Initially] at about 6,000 ATMs, and for our customers who also have mobile wallet, they can have an even easier way to access an ATM, through their mobile wallet,” said Jonathan Velline, head of strategy and administration for community banking at Wells Fargo.

The other 7,000 ATMs will be upgraded by 2019, he said.

Wells Fargo said in October 2017 that it is upgrading its 13,000 ATMs to let customers withdraw money and conduct other transactions using Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay instead of a debit card.
Staying current
“More merchants are accepting mobile wallets, and we’re seeing a growth in use of P-to-P like Zelle,” says Wells Fargo's Jonathan Velline. “We want to make sure those customers can use the ATM.”

In March, the bank announced another type of cardless transaction at all its ATMs with the use of its mobile banking app. Customers log in to the app, receive an eight-digit passcode and use that along with their normal PIN number to use the ATM.

The feature has proven popular — more than 3 million cardless transactions have been conducted on Wells Fargo ATMs since March.

“What surprised me was that the service appeals to a lot of customers and use cases,” Velline said. “I use it all the time when I’m walking the dog. I usually don’t have my wallet when I’m walking the dog, but I do have my phone. So I can get $20 out, get a coffee, and it’s really convenient.”

Customers are more likely to leave their office or home without their wallet than they are to leave their smartphone behind, he said. And at the same time, Wells Fargo is seeing stronger use of mobile wallets for day-to-day payments.

“More merchants are accepting mobile wallets, and we’re seeing a growth in use of P-to-P like Zelle,” Velline said. “We want to make sure those customers can use the ATM.”

Upgrading to near-field communication and integration with mobile wallets makes the transaction a little faster. The customer does not have to open the Wells Fargo app. They sign in to a mobile wallet, hold the device near a compatible ATM, and enter their debit card PIN. The service allows withdrawals, deposits, transfers, payments and Red Cross donations.

Wells Fargo controls its own ATM and mobile banking app software, so upgrades like this are not difficult, Velline said.

“We had to bring in our card team and the folks working on payments to make that happen,” he said. “But we had all the pieces at our disposal.”

Corrected October 10, 2017 at 5:29PM: The headline on an earlier version of this story mischaracterized the transaction that Wells is allowing. Customers may use their mobile wallets to initiate cash withdrawals from ATMs.