To the long list of things you can do with your phone — including watch a movie, buy a latte and hail a ride — prepare to add one more: get cash. Over the next few months, the nation’s three biggest banks will start rolling out ATMs that will let customers withdraw currency using their smartphones instead of debit cards — the latest step toward a future in which phones could replace bank branches and wallets.
“My boys are 5 and 6 — I don’t think they’ll carry around plastic when they grow up,” said Michelle Moore, head of digital banking for Bank of America, which plans to make cardless ATMs widely available as early as May. San Francisco banking giant Wells Fargo plans to offer cardless access at a limited number of ATMs by this summer and at all ATMs by the end of the year. Most of JPMorgan Chase’s ATMs will start offering cardless access sometime in the second half of the year. Cash machines that work with a phone instead of a card aren’t new, but they are rare. Downtown L.A.’s City National Bank unveiled cardless ATMs in 2013, and a few regional banks have followed suit over the last year, but the number of cardless ATMs now stands in the low thousands nationwide. FULL REPORT