In the interests of factual reporting, let us note that there was no roundtable in the room during the Cardless Transactions Roundtable discussion last week at the ATMIA US conference in Orlando.
There was, however, plenty of great discussion, thanks to thoughtful questions about cardless transactions from Donna Embry of Payment Alliance International and informed answers from a full complement of well-versed payments professionals.
Here are highlights from the 1-hour session, edited for length:
Will cardless transactions be as difficult and expensive to implement as the chip standard?
Carol Specogna: Well, because we probably should have never gone the EMV route. … Just saying. What [Fiserv has] done is really try to utilize what exists today.
So, yeah, you do need to make some software changes … but it's a lot easier because the transactions are going to look like regular old network transactions. It's just going to be a standard withdrawal. Our specifications on the acquiring side are half a page long. It's nothing like it was for EMV.
Douglas Asad: EMV needed to happen for security purposes because the United States was the weak link in the chain in terms of fraudsters coming to the United States. … But on the flip side of that, it's one of the few situations that I have seen where you added a new technology that actually made the user experience worse.
Cardless cash is designed to be user friendly. It's designed to improve the experience. We all have to keep security in mind when we do that, and that needs to be first and foremost, but cardless cash is going to gratify users, whereas EMV, to Joe Smith, he doesn't know why he's using EMV, he just knows that it takes longer. … Cardless cash is there to make the experience better.
How can cardless transactions help IADs minimize their liability shift risk?
Daniel Goodman: That's definitely a key piece of what we're thinking about as we approach this market. With contactless NFC, that is EMV-like in that it keeps the liability with the issuer. As we look at other forms, that something we plan to start that way as we'll.
We know that in order to encourage all of you operating the ATMs — why would you start in a product that you're going to have the liability for? So that's definitely how we are approaching it. Any new types of cardless user experiences and new technologies, we expect to implement that without having the liability shift back to the operator.
Will cardless solutions really provide additional security for the account holder?
Sam Kamel: In the mobile space, between the power of the device and all the data points that surround it — biometric, geolocation and other things — it really does create a more safe, secure environment, if you think about it.
Your card is not on the phone, you have tokenization … so from an adoption point of view, from the consumer's or the merchant's or the operator's point of view it seems to be a lot safer.
Lyle Elias: The concept of multimodal biometrics is really, in my opinion, the way it's going to go. It's a matter of how big is the transaction? How risky is the transaction? It's all about risk mitigation. The days of trying to remember your user name and password — those just become totally irrelevant.
All of the "Pays" use NFC, but Just Cash uses QR code. Why is that?
Todd Lawrence: What's different about the ATM space is that for NFC and some of the older machines it can potentially become a hardware solution, which is costly for ATM operators to go out there and deploy … and it doesn't really add that much more benefit.
What we've tried to do [QR code model] is utilize everything that's already out there that already works really well and just slip in our feature that connects people to this cardless environment.
Carol Specogna: There has to be a network across the U.S. of these [retail] ATMs participating for there to be value for the consumer, and we have to start with the ATM side. We started with PAI because going out to financial institutions and trying to convince them [to get them on board] that's a really tough sell. But to be able to walk in now to the financial institutions and say, "Hey, we've already got 10,000, we'll have 25,000 up and running before the end of 2017" — that's pretty powerful.
What are your thoughts about growing volume with P2P transactions and rewards?
Richard Witkowski: Today if you're in Poland and you buy a Nikon camera, you get a rebate … your choices when you go to the rebate form online are provide your checking account number and your routing number and we'll put the money into your account [or] give us your cell phone number and we send an SMS text message to get that rebate instantly [at an ATM]. Ninety-nine percent of the people choose the cell phone. …
We have a model where we charge the person sending the cash an order fee and we share that back with the ATM owners. This is all about incremental revenue for you from transactions you haven't seen before.