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NCR app to make your debit card obsolete

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Searching through the most recent YouTube videos on technology this columnist came upon an interesting one from NCR. The old National Cash Register company wants to help eliminate your debit card. NCR is developing a smartphone app that will quickly connect you to an ATM without that little plastic card. This app essentially runs a distinct QR code for your account so you can "instantly" make cash withdrawals per the menu amount.

Mark Critchett (Marketing Director for NCR) tells us that this new technology will work using ATMs with their APTRA software (NCR news release) and a QR code on your smartphone app. He demonstrates (simulates?) this astonishing app by pulling up a cash withdrawal menu on the smartphone. The smartphone is then placed in front of the special screen menu that matches the QR code on the ATM. Voila and the cash comes out. Amazing - no cards involved.

NCR refers to this new system as mobile cash withdrawal (MCW). But it is likely this new gadget app is not at your bank or its ATMs just yet. This QR code mobile cash withdrawal app must be installed by your bank along with the extra software. Your bank may wish to contact Mr. Critchett or Christopher Dell (Solutions Director for NCR). Once installed the MCW system should offer a faster and safer way to extract your cash. The safety aspect comes from the likely avoidance/elimination of skimmer devices.

That this new technology and app should have local applications at your nearby ATM should be obvious. It should also be obvious that this exciting new system must have global applications too. Indeed it does in one form another. Mobile payment systems have already been in use in Haiti (after the earthquake) and in Afghanistan. The folks in these nations needed new ways to access money from a mobile platform - again with a smartphone app.

It may be that disaster relief has played a role in eliminating the debit card - and its hazards - by turning to mobile cash withdrawal using QR codes and a smartphone. Another obvious point - once you get this smartphone app take all care to guard that device!

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