Coming Soon? Your Cell Phone As Your ATM!
According to this item from a recent edition of Time magazine,
"Customers of ATMs long ago decided they could do without a teller. Now Steven Atkinson has a bolder idea: they can also do without the cash. His company mobileATM has developed secure software that allows cell-phone owners in Britain to check their bank balances using their handsets. That may sound trivial, but 37 banks in Britain, including First Direct (the roughly $12 billion phone and PC division of giant HSBC) and RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), have approved it.Is this technological development a good one? My husband has lost three cell phones in that last two years. Losing a cell phone is bad enough without having to worry about the finder--or thief--using it to access a bank account.
"Why? Because, says Atkinson, consumers make 150 million balance inquiries every month using 55,000 traditional hole-in-the-wall ATMs. MobileATM wants to redefine convenience. 'When you ask the question "Where is the nearest ATM?" I want the answer to be "It's in your hand," says Atkinson, who was born in 1969, the year that Chemical Bank in New York City opened the world's first modern ATM.
"If mobileATM is to provide a truly compelling service, shouldn't it also allow users to move cash around? 'You have to walk before you can run,' says Richard Kimber, chief executive of First Direct, who notes that consumers will be able to buy top-up credit for pay-as-you-go mobile phones. He also envisions a day when British commuters might be able to purchase subway rides using their mobileATM, the next step in turning your phone into your wallet."
The possibilites for abuse of the-cell-phone-as-ATM are endless. Next thing you know, your cell phone will be ripped off and used to steal your identity!