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Battling The Non-Banks on the Payments Front: Q&A With Wintrust Financial Corp

Illinois-based Wintrust financial is piloting a mobile cash withdrawal service to compete with services offered by the likes of Paypal

Illinois-based Wintrust Financial Corporation is piloting a service that will allow its customers the ability to withdraw cash from Diebold ATMs using the Paydiant and FIS mobile wallet solution.

Thomas P. Ormseth, Wintrust
Thomas P. Ormseth, Wintrust

The solution, Mobile Cash Access, allows consumers to long onto their mobile banking application and perform a transaction before getting to the ATM. Once at the ATM, they hit a button, scan a QR code and withdraw the money.

Bank Systems & Technology talked with Thomas P Ormseth, SVP of Wintrust, on why the bank decided to roll out the solution and some lessons learned.

Bank Systems & Technology: When did Wintrust start piloting the product?

Ormseth: We started piloting it internally with employees in the April time-frame, end of March, beginning of April. We expect the pilot to wrap up this quarter, and then start to implement it in the fourth quarter with the rest of our ATM fleet. Fourth quarter is when we would like to roll it out with customers.

Not only do we have to implement and test the application itself, but the operating system on all the ATMS need to be upgraded. That means physically going to all those ATMs. So, year-end is when we’d like to have out whole fleet up.

It is just with our ATMs to start with. Some other banks are in process of testing this. What would be nice if you could use it on someone else’s ATM. I think that’s probably going to happen in 2014, is when the banks will start working together on this.

BS&T: What prompted the decision to pilot it?

Ormseth: We think this competes well. We decided that banks need to act a little more like the non-bank areas. So the payment space, like Google and Paypal. We need to be a little more aware of what they’re doing. I think this is something that can combat some of the payment space they’re taking, because it’s going to be tough for them to offer something like this.

BS&T: What kinds of results have you seen in using it internally?

Ormseth: There have been some minor changes. We matched it up so it’s like the ATM experience. People are use to using an ATM. There’s nothing major we’re changing at this point.

BS&T: Are there any concerns about security with this product?

Ormseth: There are a number of controls built in that. We don’t see any issues right now. With a smart phone, you can have a security code to get in. We require a security code to access the transaction, then when they get the preregistration process to register the phone, which we’re planning to have as more of a personality authentication.

Even if the person doesn’t lock their phone, there are still two factors of authentication inside this. It’s going to operate the same as any debit card would have. Again, if you loose the phone or if you don’t have your phone, you still have your card. No card information is stored on the phone.

The information is stored in the cloud in a locked down environment we’ve reviewed from security practices. Since it’s locked down, if someone were to loose their phone, the only thing we have on there is the app. We don’t store authentication code, we don’t store credit or debit care information, so that you can still use your card as a back up if you loose it. The other thing is that you can remotely wipe phone. We can kill it on the cloud as well.

Zarna Patel is a staff writer for InformationWeek's Financial Services brands, which include Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology. She received her B.A. in English and journalism from Rutgers University College of Arts and Sciences in ... View Full Bio

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