Tech analysis from Africa and the world

Apple Touch ID Will Soon Be Used At ATMs In The US And Could Come To Africa Soon As well

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As we evolve into the future, several technologies are helping make that future a reality. From virtual reality to artificial intelligence, we are going to continue to see a more automated future and one area that certainly won’t be left behind is finance from how you get authenticated to how you make payments which is exactly  why major tech companies have all leveraged on their big user base to launch payment solutions from Apple Pay to Android Pay.  

How about how we use ATMs, could that change as well?

Think about a time when you can actually walk to an ATM (automated teller machine) and withdraw using security features on your phone and this means your bank card would not be used at all. Well FIS and Payment Alliance International (PAI) have come out with an announcement to do just this with 70,000 ATMs in the United States and as you may know, that’s how it starts and then the technology spreads to other countries because you see, the number of smartphones keep growing even on the African continent where the number is expected to grow to over 370 million by 2017.

Payment Alliance International (PAI) is the nation’s (US) largest privately-held provider of ATMs and provides processing and maintenance services, ATM equipment sales and support, as well as ATM branding programs.

According to the announcement, users will be able to do this using an app on their phones and will be authenticated via finger print using your iPhone Touch ID.

The partnership connects FIS Cardless Cash with PAI and brings mobile access to ATMs located at many of the nation’s largest retailers, gas stations, convenience stores and more. The deal will ultimately expand to 70,000 ATMs in the PAI ATM network.

“Our partnership with PAI extends FIS’ leadership to the largest Cardless Cash ecosystem, and will benefit both banks and their customers,” said Anthony Jabbour, chief operating officer, Banking & Payments, FIS. “Our Cardless Cash product combines innovation and efficiency with consumer convenience and security. For banks, it’s a new revenue source and this widespread network should facilitate customer adoption.”

This is the new focus for big financial institutions and this announcement won’t be the first of its kind. In February, MasterCard announced that it would now use “selfies” and finger prints for authentication instead of the password as we know it. Bank of America made a similar announcement saying its customers can now withdraw cash from the ATM using Apple Pay and of course those ATM points have to be build with these compatible features.  

The other good news in the announcement is that it is expected that users of these 70,000 ATMs would be able to withdraw cash in about 10 seconds.

Cards have become a real problem for people and if you had such experience in the past where someone laid their hands on your card and actually withdraw your money, you might relate to this solution better. You see once someone I know withdrew money and actually forgot their cards in the slot where you eject your card from. He was actually lucky to have rushed back only to find someone trying to use the card at the ATM. The thing is, that wouldn’t probably happen if h used an app or had to use a Touch ID. It’s actually difficult to forget your phone at the ATM booth.

Seeing as Apple Pay and other top payment platforms have not  launched yet in any African nation, I suspect it might take a while to see this here as well. But all hope is not lost because most of the cash machines we use here are imported from the US and other developed nations and considering the penetration levels of smartphones, we might be seeing this sooner than we think. We’ll see how it goes

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