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Get cash by tapping on the ATM with your mobile phone

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SOON you will be able to withdraw cash from the ATM by tapping your mobile which can also issue digital credit cards.

SOON you will be able to withdraw cash from the ATM by tapping your mobile which can also issue digital credit cards.

United Overseas Bank (UOB) is rolling out ATMs which let customers withdraw cash simply by tapping their smartphones, the bank said on Tuesday.

The first two UOB ATMs to allow cash withdrawal using the smartphone instead of sliding in a plastic will be in Raffles Place and Alexandra next month. By January 2017, at least 60 such ATMs will be in operation and by December 2018, all UOB ATMS will be replaced with new machines enabled with NFC contactless capabilities. NFC stands for near field communication which enables the contactless function.

UOB has 634 ATMs islandwide.

Customers with MasterCard credit and debit cards on Apple Pay will be the first to enjoy the ATM mobile service. Android phone users will be able to start tapping their contactless ATMs using the UOB Mighty Pay app by January 2017. This will be available to UOB MasterCard card members first and subsequently to UOB Visa card members.

Contactless ATMs are already in use in Australia, the US and China, said Dennis Khoo, UOB head of personal financial services Singapore. "It's another way of thinning out the wallet, not having to carry the card with you," explained Mr Khoo at a media briefing.

UOB is also launching a world first next month for existing credit card customers who will be able to apply for, receive and use its most popular credit cards via the mobile. So instead of having a slew of credit cards to take advantage of special deals and causing an unsightly bulge in one's wallet, a UOB credit card customer can apply for a credit card instantly to take advantage of specific promotions.

For instance, a UOB credit card customer in Japan may want to take advantage of JCB promotions but may not have the UOB JCB card. The customer can now instantly apply for the UOB JCB digital credit card with the mobile and take advantage of JCB offers.

UOB card members will be the first in the world to enjoy instant digital credit card issuance through their smartphones, he said.

UOB is the leading credit card player in Singapore and accounts for one in five of all credit card transactions here.

Banks are rushing to make Singapore an e-payments society which is also in line with the government's vision. It's phasing out the plastic, said Mr Khoo. "Banks must continue to be responsive to customers' changing needs and preferences by embracing innovation and harnessing technology to empower customers to bank even more conveniently."

Consumers are becoming increasingly attached to their smartphones, which have become an integral lifestyle device, he noted.

As for security concerns, Aaron Chiew, UOB head of mobile, payments and digital sales said: "When you lose your mobile phone, you know immediately", adding that when someone loses their card, it may take a few days before they are aware of the loss.

Still, Mr Khoo suggests taking the plastic for now when travelling because many countries have yet to embrace contactless payments.