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Russian banks are testing out contactless automated teller machines (ATMs) which link to smartphones and wearable devices, enabling customers to take money out via their mobile apps like Apple Pay.
This removes the need for customers to insert their cards, opening up possibilities to use mobile phones and wearable devices at ATMs.
Russia’s Sberbank and Russian Standard Bank are testing out the technology which sees NFC readers installed on ATMs. More banks in Russia, including VTB, CBOM and Otkriti, are expected to follow suit next year.
Alexei Okhorzin, director of the retail product department at Credit Bank of Moscow (CBOM), said a card is not just a piece of plastic, but a means of payment, which can take the form of a ring or phone.
“The introduction of contactless banking instruments is a promising way of development in terms of the payment service format, which meets CBOM corporate goals to provide customers with high-tech and comfortable solutions for everyday life and business.”
Over 80% of CBOM’s customers use various contactless payment services. “CBOM is interested in developing contactless operations using smartphones and expanding the capabilities of its mobile bank using popular services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.”
Banks in other European countries have been using the technology for years. In 2014, Spain’s CaixaBank commissioned Fujitsu to build 8,500 ATMs with contactless capabilities. Customers tap the readers and then input their PIN. At the time, the bank said the technology will make cash withdrawals 30% faster.
According to MasterCard, since the beginning of this year, contactless payments with cards or smartphones have accounted for more than half of all transactions in Russia.
Meanwhile, Russian are using less cash to pay for things. According to a Sberbank’s study, in 2017, the share of cashless payments in Russians’ total spending on goods and services climbed to 39%, from a tiny 4% in 2008.