They say two’s company. Well, Chase now has some company. After announcing just two days ago that it plans to introduce cardless ATMs (soon to be called eATMs), Bank of America is following their lead…

Chase’s new eATMs are currently undergoing a trial in more than 150 New York City branches, with the full rollout expected later this year including the introduction of new machines that don’t require a card, and upgrades to existing machines. The ability to withdraw cash will depend on a code generated through the Chase mobile app. Other promised upgrades to their ATMs include the ability to receive cash in different denominations and to pay Chase credit card bills or mortgage premiums. Bank of America is also promising the introduction of new machines, with a plan to launch as early as next month in Sunnyvale, CA, Charlotte, NC, Boston, MA, and New York. NY.

If 2015 was the year of mobile payments, it should come as no surprise that 2016 will bring a change across many industries to completely eliminate the need for plastic of any kind. The growing trend of being able to perform any transaction from a smartphone, or at the very least, without a human, is now making its way to retail banking. Although these new eATMs will not completely eliminate debit cards right away, it gives consumers another option. Not having to dig around to find your card, or even worse, risk leaving it in the ATM only to have to return to the branch to claim it later will likely have mass appeal. And, consumers are already growing increasingly comfortable with performing financial transactions on their smartphones, as proven by the increasing acceptance of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and other mobile payment systems.

Mintel Trend Who needs humans? illustrates the growth of automated technology replacing the need for human interaction. While the technology-driven convenience and do-anywhere-at-any-time flexibility fits in with our busy lives, there is an opportunity for banks to recognize the opposite as well. When consumers are able to free up time by performing simple transactions faster, and at more convenient times, this opens up the possibility for brands across all industries, especially financial services, to offer the human element for more complicated decisions and transactions, thereby enriching the customer experience and further deepening the relationship with additional products.

41% of Americans are interested in using advanced ATMs

Additionally, consumers are looking to do more in less time. Tools that can shave even seconds off a task are in demand, especially those that can also help us make better decisions. As evidence of this demand, and in support of the recent ATM upgrade news, research from Mintel’s Retail Banking and Credit Unions US 2015 report reveals that 41% of consumers are interested in having use of an advanced ATM that not only dispenses cash and does simple transactions, but also allows customers to split checks among accounts and make a credit card or loan payment.

While many sci-fi movies would like to depict a future in which the machines have taken over, that is clearly not happening any time soon. Instead, banks and financial brands need to recognize that these technological advances are allowing us to do more in less time, and with that free time, there are incredible opportunities to engage customers in more creative ways.

Lily Harder is the Vice President of Research for Mintel Comperemedia. Lily specializes in the financial services industry, researching and presenting on the latest industry trends, competitive intelligence insights and newsworthy developments.

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