UK ATM Users Can Withdraw Cash With Their Smartphones
June 15, 2012

UK ATM Users Can Withdraw Cash With Their Smartphones

Derek Walter for

UK ATMs are going to begin allowing users to interact with cash machines through their smartphone. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Natwest are launching the program for their customers.

According to the BBC News, customers will be able to request money through the smartphone app. They are then assigned a six-digit PIN to type in upon reaching the machine. After successfully doing so, the cash is distributed.

RBS said in a statement that the service would be helpful for someone who has lost their wallet or wants to quickly access cash without the process of digging through a purse or wallet to find the ATM card.

It is another indication that the smartphone is evolving into a digital wallet. Earlier this week Apple introduced PassBook, an app that will join the iPhone when iOS 6 launches this fall.

At its annual developers conference, Apple demonstrated PassBook´s features, which include digital versions of sports events tickets, gift cards, and airline/train boarding passes. It even made use of your location, giving a push notification when passing a nearby Starbucks to alert you of the balance remaining.

Google has also been pushing its Google Wallet, which allows NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled phones to send a payment electronically to specially enabled machines. Negotiation with mobile carriers has so far prevented Google from enabling widespread adoption.

The service from RBS is now available for customers who have downloaded the bank´s free app for iPhone or Android. There are 8,000 RBS, NatWest, and Tesco-branded ATMs in the UK in which someone could use the app and receive cash. According to RBS, 2.6 million have downloaded the company´s app to their device.

The RBS service is an extension of an existing program that allowed customers whose card had been stolen to access emergency cash from an ATM.