A few weeks ago, I saw an interesting billboard by Wells Fargo near one of the first few exit ramps of the freeway after crossing into San Francisco via the Bay Bridge. The billboard illustrated Wells Fargo's latest consumer experience/offering - Card Free ATM Access. I was excited because this was one of those product ideas everybody, including me, has probably wondered, "Why it isn't this a reality yet?"
I believe the first time this thought crossed my mine was right after the time I had encountered Venmo in college. I questioned why everything didn't just work from my phone - the washing machine, the doors, the lights, the vending machine, the ATM, etc. Over the years, lots of startups have been built around this specific thesis. We've continued to see mobile become the center of our lives; not just for interactions and transactions online, but more and more, offline too. The latest in the trend towards the latest, surprisingly, has come from Wells Fargo. A legacy bank that is more tech-forward than we imagine. They have helped in realizing the aspirations of accessing physical money without a card, and I was excited to try it for myself.
I found a WF ATM right next to 16th Street BART and voilá: it works. It takes a few too many taps for it to be a truly magical experience ✨ but it's still incredibly convenient. This has allowed me to remove my debit card from my wallet and I cannot wait until this becomes a default offering at other big banks as well!