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Asia paves the way for cardless ATM withdrawals

+ Official Coverage on Financial Services Technology (FST) Media’s website

20 May 2014
Financial Services Technology (FST) Media

Asia paves the way for cardless ATM withdrawals

Banks in Asia now offer cardless ATM withdrawals, enabling consumers to access their money with only a mobile phone. This is seen as providing not only increased customer value but also brand differentiation. Jeffrey Bahar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, was invited to share his observations on Asia leading the way in cardless ATM withdrawals.

UOB was the first bank in Singapore to offer Mobile Cash – a method of retrieving money without the need for an ATM card. Now, consumers can go to the ATM and top up their pre-paid cards with mobile cash. Subsequently, they access the internet via their mobile device and use that money to perform transactions online.

In Malaysia, Maybank was the first bank to offer a similar feature. A PIN would be sent to the recipients’ phone as an SMS, and it would be used to withdraw funds at an ATM.

CIMB Niaga launched a service called “Rekening Ponsel” in Indonesia; allowing consumers to use banking services without a bank account. It was positioned as a convenient and attractive service to the vast unbanked market, as consumers merely needed to register their mobile number with the bank to obtain a PIN for secured transactions.

The development of such services has varied in different parts of the Asia-Pacific based on different levels of market maturity, technology and need. For instance, Australia and New Zealand are more advanced in technology offerings such as contactless payments, core banking platforms and wearable technology, as compared to countries like Malaysia. More mature markets like Singapore and Hong Kong hold a great deal of potential for payment innovations.

Bahar opined that service features played an integral role in branchless banking and non-cash mobile banking services. He observed that intense competition in Southeast Asia was driving banks to differentiate themselves, and cater to new and under-served customer segments. This also meant that these customers would sometimes be the guinea pigs for e-channel innovations.

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