Use your phone to withdraw cash before you even get to the ATM

When you withdraw cash from UK bank Barclays, you can do all the button-pushing in the queue then tap your phone to collect your money.

Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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2 min read
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Do all the button-pushing on your app before you get to the ATM to cut down on the time spent standing at the hole in the wall.


There are few things more annoying than being stuck in the queue for a cash machine behind someone who's apparently never seen one before. But now, thanks to the magic of contactless mobile payment technology, you can do all the button-pushing in the queue and then simply tap your phone against the ATM to collect your cash.

Contactless and mobile payments have been embraced by shops in the UK. Although contactless isn't as widely used in the US, Bank of America has introduced some cardless ATMs and Samsung Pay can now be used at ATMs in Korea.

This next step comes from UK bank Barclays, where customers will be able to use contactless cards or an Android smartphone at ATMs inside branches. There's a £100 limit on withdrawals, but it's protected by your PIN so wrong'uns can't access your money by simply stealing your phone.

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Contactless chips can be embedded in anything from conventional debit cards to wearables, stickers or even items of clothing like this bPay contactless jacket.


To get your wonga without doing anything on the automated teller, you'll need an Android smartphone with NFC and the Barclays Mobile Banking app. Open the Barclays app and type in the amount you want with your PIN. A 30-second countdown starts. When you get to the ATM you simply tap the phone on the machine and it spits out your readies (and receipt if required).

You can also tap your contactless debit card or Android smartphone on the machine, then type in how much money you want. You still need to enter your PIN, whether you use card or phone, so really the only difference is that you don't have to put the card into the slot and wait those agonising seconds for it to be spat out again.

At first, it'll just be available at machines that are inside branches, which means it'll be limited to bank opening hours.

But if (and probably when) it expands to include ATMs on the street, being able to do everything in the queue or before you walk up to the ATM will cut down on time spent standing at the hole in the wall and vulnerable to theft. The app makes it harder for thieves to see you type your PIN into the machine, whether by looking over your shoulder or through a hidden camera. This could potentially end the growing threat of skimming, not to mention helping you avoid all those horrid germs.

Barclays says the service will launch "in the new year". It'll be tried out in the North of England, before launching in 180 Barclays branches across the UK.

Bonus bankomat fact: The first cash machine went into service in the Enfield Town branch of Barclays in North London in 1967 and was inaugurated by "On the Buses" actor Reg Varney.

Watch this: Use your phone instead of a card at the ATM