Cardless ATMs: in- or exclusive?


For my third blog post, I decided to make use of the resource I supplied last week, Wired Magazine, while doing my research for a good example of convergence. Unsurprisingly, I quickly made a find: we’ve all heard of Apple Pay (though most people aren’t quite convinced yet), and now ATMs are allowing for cardless money retrieval through scanning barcodes on one’s smartphone.web1_FIS480_CNB_ATM-Graphic_1.jpg

Like with many apps, it seems like a concept people need to warm up to over the years – we can agree that it took our parents awhile longer than us to get the hang of smartphones, less converting to using the gadgets for previously mundane tasks.           This is rapidly becoming the norm though: our own generation has experienced the fall of VCR and MySpace, witnessed how fast older forms of media come and go, and watched new technologies become the norm in a short span of time.

Cardless ATMs, however, pose a wholly different set of implications and issues: while they can definitely facilitate operations, help us multi-task with one single device, and spare us the risk of losing our cards carrying them around, cyber hacking is inevitably going to be a big concern. The whole concept might also indefinitely reduce plastic production, if cards ever become fully extinct, but the process is not looking too smooth yet.

New steps of convergence tend to only be available being if they are sufficiently funded – cardless ATMs have existed in Spain since 2011, yet needed sponsor JP Morgan Chase to make them a reality in the UK – which geographically and socioeconomically limits billions of people in the world from participating in the phenomenon due to global power imbalances.

Socialised convergence is what makes humans dependent on media – yet can technological convergence really be described as a fundamental part of society already, if so many are excluded from experiencing it? This might just be a sign of things converging too fast for the whole of humanity to keep up.




  1. I also agree with Adele, I think at first it will just take time for people to get used to the idea of cardless money retrieval but sooner or later everyone will be doing it. I think this examples shows just how quickly technology is growing and how dependant we are becoming on it in our everyday day lives. Great post


  2. Great reflection about the issues that convergence can bring up. You made a very good point: technology is growing exponentially, becoming an essential tool through which we organize our entire life. Banking, personal details, every kind of information about our lives wanders online, between social networks and online banking. However, it seems like we’re not ready to this cultural upgrade yet, seeing all the hacking scandals and the legal issues with personal data online.


  3. I do believe that cardless money retrieval is a prospect for the future. I agree with you that people still need to ‘warm up’ to the idea, and it may take a while for this invention to become widespread and widely used. from the perspective of ‘multitasking by using one device’, the idea seems excellent, allowing us to do even more on our smartphones.
    However, I thought of an implication, which, even though minor, might have a great effect: our smartphones live on battery life, which is not too long lasting. By shifting all important tasks and operations to a single device, we might be falling into a trap: what happens if the battery runs out and you desperately need cash? By eliminating bank cards, which in this case have an advantage of being battery-free, we could be putting ourselves in danger. You never know when and what for you might need some spare cash.
    Also, hacking is bound to become a growing problem. It might even turn people away from the idea of cashless ATMs, as the safety concerns for online transactions have always been great.
    However, we will see what the future brings.
    Great post!


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