According to stories put out by both Finextra and ATM Marketplace, First National Bank, which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week announced the launch of a new service that allows customers to withdraw funds from ATMs using their mobile phones instead of their bank cards.
To withdraw cash from a First National Bank ATM, customers must log onto Cellphone Banking and select the banking option. They then must choose "withdraw cash" and the account from which they want to take the funds, such as checking or savings.
Once the customer completes this step, the bank sends an SMS text message with a temporary PIN. The customer then goes to the ATM and selects "cardless services" and "withdraw cash" from a First National Bank account, said Roshni Reddy of Cellphone Banking Solutions.
The next step requires the customer to type in his cellphone number and the temporary PIN, Reddy said. The ATM dispenses the cash and issues the customer a receipt, confirming the transaction.
The PIN is good for 30 minutes to make a cash withdrawal from one of the bank's more than 4,500 ATMs. Customers can use the temporary PIN once.
First National Bank initially launched cellphone banking in 2005 to provide customers with 24-hour access to their bank accounts. The bank's Cellphone Banking service has more than 2.7 million customers.
Blog comment: Its the bit about the PIN being good for 30 minutes for cash withdrawal from one of the bank's more than 4,500 ATMs that worries me. Assume that the temporary PIN will be good at any of the ATMs for one usage only. While the bank should be applauded for their effort to make ATM cash withdrawals easier for their customers, smart phones are not necessarily the most secure of platforms. If one was infected by a trojan that automatically diverted the SMS to another phone, then the bad guys would have an opportunity to use the one-time only PIN before the genuine customer. Wonder how many people with smart phones assiduously install, and keep up to date, anti-virus software? Criminals have shown themselves to be extremely tech savvy when it comes to card skimming and PIN compromise - if the same expertise is directed at this new form of ATM cash withdrawal, it will be interesting to see the outcome.............