At some major banks, you no longer need to have your debit card in hand to use the ATM. But that won't necessarily protect you from fraudsters.
Several financial institutions have introduced smart ATMs to their branches in recent months. The cardless ATM sends a code to the consumer's phone via the bank's mobile app. By entering that code at the ATM, the customer can access his or her bank accounts.
Wells Fargo set up 13,000 cardless ATMs this year. "We place significant efforts to ensure our online and mobile channels are secure, and we are continuously enhancing our controls," Lauren Terreros, associate vice president of corporate communications at Wells Fargo, said about the bank's smart ATM efforts.
Experts say the move to smart ATMs makes sense as consumers use digital wallets that let them pay via their phone. And by taking cards out of the equation, banks effectively take away the risk of skimming — where thieves use devices to capture debit card information at ATMs, to make fraudulent cash withdrawals.