As we look back at 2015, Apple Pay, Android Pay and mobile money transfer entrants such as Venmo gathered a lot of steam, and it is likely that 2015 will go down in history books as “the year money went mobile.” Fueled in large part by the ubiquity of smartphones, consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on mobile wallets and apps to move money, and it’s clear that consumers are interested in ways to use their phones in lieu of traditional bank cards at ATMs and other devices. It is only a matter of time before cardless transactions begin to outpace those that rely on traditional bank cards. In fact, several, financial institutions including banks and credit unions have already announced card-free ATM technology on select ATMs.

However, while being able to withdraw your own money if you don’t have your card is certainly a perk and offers increased security, credit unions should also be aware of the benefits available through next-generation technologies that are pushing the boundaries of cardless ATM withdrawals – particularly as those unable, or unlikely, to use a bank, look to technology to bridge the gap in money transfer and remittance.  

With U.S. person-to-person, mobile money transfers predicted to grow from $5.6 billion in 2014 to $174 billion by 2019, according to a business intelligence report, the tried-and-true ATM may very well offer credit unions a competitive edge, especially when it comes to connecting members with those “beyond the bank.”  

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