Diebold has announced that it has been granted five U.S. patents over the last 18 months "covering a variety of applications that enable mobile devices to interact directly with bank ATMs. These technologies extend beyond current mobile banking practices that permit using mobile phones to conduct online banking transactions such as transferring funds or checking account balances."
The new technologies covered by the patents will allow consumers to use their mobile devices to locate and get directions to the nearest ATM, "order" cash withdrawals remotely, generate electronic checks to pay for goods or services, transmit wireless payments and conduct other transactions more securely and conveniently than they do presently.
"Diebold's new patented technology has the potential to offer myriad applications to boost the convenience and personal security factors of using an ATM," according to Jim Block, director, global advanced technology, Diebold.
While no provider is offering systems with the features covered by these patents yet, "Diebold is in discussions with technology partners that could bring these applications closer to reality," Block noted. "The know-how to marry mobile devices to ATMs has been lab-tested by Diebold's engineers and could be in users' hands within three to five years, facilitating faster ATM transactions and more of them, in more places and at more hours, with greater peace of mind," he said.
Since 1999 -- long before popular acceptance of the notion of using mobile devices to conduct consumer banking -- Diebold has been working to develop innovative ways for consumers to use mobile devices for direct interaction with ATMs, their key touch point with their financial institutions. With this latest round of patents, Diebold has laid the groundwork for an emerging technology -- marrying mobile communications and the banking self-service channel -- that has the potential to change the way banks and wireless service providers serve their customers' needs.
"Diebold takes great pride in the innovation that has come out of our development centers in the mobile arena, with our continuous focus on advanced technologies we will closely follow how the marketplace embraces the latest intellectual property we have developed," said Block.
Diebold's recently issued patents cover the following:
- Patent 7,040,533 -- Enables mobile devices to interact directly with an ATM and a bank system to allow a customer to "order" cash withdrawals from a mobile device. The technology offers protection against card-skimming or personal identification number (PIN) surfing at ATMs, since a customer's mobile phone becomes his or her input device to the ATM. This offers a greater sense of security to consumers who worry about entering their personal account information where others can watch or an unauthorized camera can record a PIN entry.
- Patent 7,207,477 -- Enables mobile devices to be used in a checkout or bank environment to make payments using secure electronic checks.
- Patent 7,201,313 -- Enables a bank network to receive wireless communications from a mobile device, including a customer's bank account number and account cash value. This patent defines how a wireless device can "communicate" with a bank network to dispense cash and assess a customer's account for the value of the cash dispensed.
- Patent 7,150,393 -- Enables bank ATMs to communicate with mobile devices through a cellular network or other wireless methods. This application could also allow two or more customers to simultaneously conduct transactions with an ATM.
- Patent 7,025,256 -- Enables a user of a wireless device to interact with an ATM by using the wireless device's display and keypad instead of the display and keypad on the ATM.
"Diebold's patents demonstrate that the company is far ahead of its time in developing technologies that increase operating efficiencies, enhance transaction security and deliver greater conveniences to our customers' customers," said Block.