Banks that offer contactless ATM access in the UK
Use your phone to withdraw money from ATMs when you don't have your debit card.
Some of the top banks have found a way to make accessing your cash even easier. With secure apps installed on your mobile phone, you can access your digital wallet to withdraw the money from an ATM. Your phone is already at your fingertips – now your cash will be too.
Which banks offer contactless ATMs?
If you have a Barclays account and the Barclays app, you can use it to take out cash when you don’t have your card but need money. Note that only Android users can take advantage of this feature at the moment.
You can take out up to £300 a day from an ATM, or up to £800 a day if you’re a Premier customer. Barclays has 1,200 ATMs across the UK that enable cardless cash withdrawals. Customers can also use the cardless withdrawal service in-branch at 500 UK locations.
NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers with an app can use the Get Cash function to withdraw up to £130 every 24 hours. This feature works at both banks’ ATMs as well as those operated by Tesco. Royal Bank of Scotland customers in Scotland can do the same.
|Issuer||Offers cardless cash|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||Visit Royal Bank of Scotland|
|Barclays||Read our review|
Reviews of accounts that offer contactless ATMs
What are contactless ATMs and how do they work?
Cardless cash usually works by providing you with a unique code that you enter into an ATM to withdraw money when you don’t have your card.
This is beneficial if you don’t want to carry a card when you’re out, for instance if you’re on a run or at the beach – or if you’ve forgotten to take your card out with you. You can even share your code with friends or family members so they can withdraw money when you’re not there.
Can you catch COVID-19 from handling cash?
There’s no evidence suggesting you can catch COVID-19 from handling cash, though of course it’s a good idea to wash your hands after you’ve dealt with money to keep up hygiene that can slow the spread of this disease. If you’re concerned about withdrawing cash from an ATM, consider a cardless ATM to minimise contact with the machine.
Contactless app-generated codes vs NFC
There are two ways your phone may connect with a cardless ATM through app-generated codes or near-field communication (NFC).
App-generated codes are typically QR codes, although they can be a series of numbers. If your ATM uses this type of technology, you request a withdrawal in your mobile app and then scan or enter the code once you get to the ATM. Then, the ATM verifies your identity and authenticates your transaction.
Some ATMs use NFC to conduct cardless transactions. With this type of cardless ATM, you tap your phone against the machine’s contactless symbol and your phone’s digital wallet pulls up. From there, you select which card you want to use from your wallet and enter your PIN. Then, the ATM authenticates your transaction.
What are the benefits of using cardless cash?
- The convenience of travelling light. With cardless cash, you can travel light when the occasion calls for it.
- In cases of emergencies. You can continue to access your cash even if you’ve left your wallet at home.
- You can share it with your trusted family and friends. This makes it easier to give family members limited access to the account when they need it. Rather than paying for extra debit cards or worrying about how much they withdraw, you can control their spending by using the app.
- No additional costs for using it. The app works the same as a debit card when withdrawing money. As long as you’re using ATMs in your bank’s network, you shouldn’t be charged any additional fees.
- Increased security. In some ways, the app provides more security as the code is for one use only, rather than a debit card which prompts you for the same code each time you use it.
What are the drawbacks of using cardless cash?
- Only at select banks. Right now, only select banks in the UK offer this feature with their accounts, limiting your choices when making comparisons, but others will probably follow soon.
- Relies on ATM’s network. If the ATM network is down, you won’t be able to use the code to withdraw money until it’s up and running again.
- Cardless ATM fraud. If someone gets hold of your bank’s login details and PIN, they can connect your account to their phone and withdraw money without needing your physical debit card.
Security tips when using contactless cash
With any product or device that provides access to your money, either on or offline, you need to be careful about its security. To best protect your money when using cardless cash, avoid the following:
- Protect your online banking details
Never share the password to your online bank account. With the password, people could gain access to your cardless cash details and make withdrawals without your consent.
- Monitor suspicious transactions on your account
Although banks take precautions to protect your information, there is always the possibility of a hack. If you notice unauthorised withdrawals from your account using cardless cash, notify the bank immediately.
The bottom line
If you’re a customer with one of the handful of banks that offer the option to withdraw cash from ATMs without a credit or debit card, it can be a nifty way to get your hands on cash quickly in emergencies.
Right now only Barclays, NatWest and RBS customers are able to use this feature, so if you don’t bank with any of these three providers, then you won’t be able to take advantage.
As long as nobody else can get hold of your bank’s login details and PIN, cardless ATM withdrawal can be a very convenient way to get hold of money in emergencies.
Common questions about contactless ATMs
More guides on Finder
Chase vs Starling
We look at how bank accounts from Chase and Starling compare.
Chase vs Monzo
Use our guide to compare the free current accounts from digital challenger banks Chase and Monzo.
Chase vs Revolut
We look at how current accounts from Chase and Revolut compare.
Juni business account review
Learn more about Juni’s business account for ecommerce and online marketing entrepreneurs.
SumUp business account review
Find out more about the SumUp business account, including its pros and cons.
Monzo review: Is it worth it?
Is Monzo’s app-only current account the right option for you? Read our review to get the low-down on all of the features of the account, its card and the app.
Revolut Plus review
Revolut Plus is the latest current account to be offered by digital banking brand Revolut – we take a look at its features and fees.
Novus bank account review
New UK banking startup Novus says it will offer a digital bank account with a conscience. Here’s what we know about it so far.
Vybe bank account review
The latest kid on the neobank block, Vybe is a free-to-use digital account that offers perks and discounts through its range of brand partners.
Monzo Premium account review
Digital challenger bank Monzo has launched a new Premium tier for its current account. We take a look at the cost and what’s on offer.
Ask an Expert