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Opinion

Hacking Is About to Get a lot Harder With Cardless ATMs

By Anindya Ghose

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For many banks, though, it turns out that mobile-phone-enabled, cardless ATM transactions have the potential to actually reduce the threat of fraud and security breaches.

A few years back, a friend of mine was traveling from New York City to Paris. After landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport, he reached for his wallet, but realized it was no longer in the back of his trouser pocket. He had been pick-pocketed during his metro ride. All of his cash, credit cards, and debit cards were gone.

Were something like this to happen in the near future, my friend would’ve had a much easier time making it through the next 48 hours, so long as he had his smartphone. In just the last few weeks, a number of banks have announced plans for cardless ATMs. Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Bank of America are all piloting their own initiatives. The basic idea is that a code will be generated on the banks’ mobile apps that consumers can use to unlock their bank accounts, enabling them to withdraw money from an ATM simply by tapping their device when they’re in front of the ATM.

The smartphone has already established itself as an indispensable device for nearly everyone on the planet, even in some of the most remote and seemingly underdeveloped regions. But with respect to innovations, we are still only scratching the tip of the iceberg. Despite claims that innovation in smartphones may be dying and that the market is becoming flat, there is still plenty of room for innovative, non-trivial design changes and introduction of new features. In the next few versions of our smartphones, there will be integration with augmented reality, flexible and bendable screens, and even wireless audio and wireless battery charging.

Read the full article as published in Fortune

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Anindya Ghose is the Daniel P. Paduano Fellow, NEC Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences and Director of the Center for Business Analytics.