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Managing cash access just got easier with mobile cash

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Dominic C. Canuso
Guest Columnist

Cash isn’t dead – and neither is the means for getting it.

A half century after they were introduced, automatic teller machines (ATMs) are still standing strong and banks are expanding ways for customers to use them through Mobile Cash technology. These are proving to be welcome developments for those who are a little more cautious these days about spending too much time inside or touching high-traffic surfaces.

How does Mobile Cash work?

With Mobile Cash, you can withdraw cash from an ATM without inserting a card and with less physical contact. First, check to see if your bank supports this function. If it does, visit a local participating ATM and locate the button on the ATM screen enabling the Mobile Cash function. Then, open your banking mobile app on your smartphone and follow the withdraw instructions. For security, you’ll most likely need to snap a picture of a code on the ATM screen before the cash is dispensed.

Why Mobile Cash?

Whether purchasing a gallon of milk at a convenience store or giving a server a tip, cash is still a part of everyday life. And consumers seem to agree — even during the pandemic. A study from Cardtronics Inc. in April 2020 found that 54% of U.S. consumers preferred cash payment for transactions under $10. Eighty percent agreed with or were neutral with the notion that cash is as important today as ever.

So, it’s no surprise that people like to keep some cash in their pockets. And with Mobile Cash, customers have an option for getting cash from an ATM in a safe and secure manner. It is also an easy way to deposit cash or checks into your account. Check deposits typically post in one or two business days, but your bank might make the first $100 to $200 available immediately. Not all ATMs accept deposits so be sure to check before you go. And don’t forget some banks charge ATM fees for out of network users. When choosing a bank, it is important to check that they have a solid ATM network and mobile access.

How safe is Mobile Cash?

Mobile Cash helps reinforce carefulness during uncertain times. Customers are essentially only touching an ATM once when using the Mobile Cash function, as opposed to touching the screen throughout the entire transaction. Of course, hand sanitizers or hand washing are also encouraged to take extra safety precautions.

From a cybersecurity perspective, customers are limiting their exposure to risks of fraud with the use of mobile cash. They will not need to insert their debit or ATM card into the machine, preventing the risk of card theft. In addition, Mobile Cash eliminates the need for customers to enter a PIN on the machine to gain access to their account, therefore eliminating the possibility of others nearby stealing their PIN.

The pandemic interrupting the economic climate has forced many consumers to rethink how they want to access cash. Thankfully, innovations like Mobile Cash technology is proving that cash is here to stay.  

Dominic C. Canuso is chief financial officer at WSFS Bank and executive leader of Cash Connect.

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