Wells Fargo announced it is the first major US bank to offer smartphone withdrawals at all of its ATMs across the country.

The new facility went live yesterday, enabling Wells Fargo customers to withdraw money from any of its 13,000 cashpoints by typing in a code presented on their handset, followed by the PIN number they would usually use with their credit or debit card.

Later in the year, the company plans to expand the facility to NFC-based contactless withdrawals.

In a statement, Adam Vancini, head of operations for Virtual Channels at Wells Fargo said: “Mobile continues to be the channel of choice for millions of our customers, so it only makes sense to leverage it for new, convenient ATM experiences. Whether a customer happens to have a card on them or not, one time access code provides another simple and secure way to withdraw cash at any of our ATMs.”

The company announced mobile banking is its fastest growing channel, and this month passed the milestone of 20 million active customers.

Other US banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are currently trialling smartphone-based systems in limited locations.

The move to contactless
The use of contactless finance services is in the US is still low, but growing according to analysts.

A recent Juniper Research study, War of the Wallets, found 16.5 per cent of the 232 million smartphones being used in the US during 2016 were utilised for a contactless payment. The contactless card market appears even less advanced with only 5.5 per cent of payment cards used for this type of transaction in 2016.

In contrast, in China – widely accepted as a leader in this space – 68 per cent of mobile phone users made a contactless transaction with their handset during 2016, according to data released last week from the China Internet Network Information Centre.