Apr 04, 2014

Smarter Security Means You Can Access Cash from Smartphone

la-trb-gear-necklace-phone-20131229-001Smartphone loves can rejoice: It will soon be possible to use your phone to access an ATM. ATM maker Diebold Inc. is testing a cash-dispensing-only ATM that relies on a mobile wallet to authenticate the consumer, eschewing a PIN pad and card reader. The ATM, now in test at the Diebold Federal Credit Union, which is unaffiliated with North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold, and at locations belonging to Wintrust Financial Corp., in Rosemont, Ill., and City National Bank, in Los Angeles. If this rollout goes well, ATM’s across the United States could soon use this feature.

A transaction works in one of two ways. The first is akin to the current method of walking up to an ATM and making cash withdrawals, which is how ATM machines currently work. The other way to use the mobile wallet to get cash is to pre-stage the transaction, which means setting up the withdrawal prior to arrival at the ATM. Consumers select which account to use and the withdrawal amount beforehand. A transaction using this method would supposedly take less than 10 seconds.

A smartphone app-based ATM transaction could also provide additional security. Not only will these ATM apps be supported by smartphone security systems, but also because a card is never used, there is no skimming device criminals could place to try to capture the sensitive card data. The service also eliminates shoulder surfing, the practice of overlooking a consumer’s shoulder at the ATM to spy on his PIN number. Smartphone-based ATM transactions can also eliminate data theft by sticky-tape. This happens when a thick double-sided tape is placed onto the card slot and it imprints the card information. Without having to use a card, the threat is eliminated. However, there are still critics who will argue that any technology can be hacked into. Those critics are correct. Apps are commonly hacked into, or infected with viruses. However, their security systems have improved to points where such problems are gone quickly.

Using your smartphone to do banking transactions is not totally new; in fact many banks allow account holders to take a photo of a check and deposit it without having to go to a branch. This is popular among the “smartphone generation”, and accessing the ATM via smartphone is sure to do the same. All users should make sure that their phone has up-to-date security features, and at the very least contact their mobile provider to make sure. When technology advances so do the hackers, however the combination of smartphone and financial institutions security features are sure to outsmart the hackers.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

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Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

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