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?

At the moment only a handful of banks in the UK offer this option, including Barclays, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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.

IssuerOffers cardless cash
NatWestNatWest Visit NatWest
Royal Bank of ScotlandRoyal Bank of Scotland Visit Royal Bank of Scotland
BarclaysBarclays Read our review

Reviews of accounts that offer contactless ATMs

NatWest - Select Account

Select Account
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0.01

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

£175 cash offer when you switch using the Current Account Switching Service.
The NatWest Select account is an everyday bank account with no monthly maintenance fee. The account can be managed via the mobile app which has a function called Get Cash. This will enable you to withdraw cash from a NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Tesco ATM without your card if you don’t have it with you. You can withdraw up to £130 every 24 hours. Note that the app is only available if you have online banking and a mobile number. Through the app, you’ll also be able to check your credit score for free and pay in cheques securely just by taking a photo of the front and back of the cheque. You’ll also be able to use biometric approval for your everyday banking needs, helping to keep your bank accounts even more secure. An arranged overdraft is available.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.49% EAR variable .
  • No monthly fee
  • Emergency cash option
  • Easy to open and manage
  • Arranged overdraft available
  • No interest paid on in-credit balances
  • Interest charged on overdrafts
  • Limited features and benefits
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 2.75%
Overseas cash withdrawals 2.75%

Barclays - Bank Account

Bank Account
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Read review

£1

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Eligible for Barclays Blue Rewards.
To open the Barclays bank account you’ll need to be aged 18 or over and a UK resident. Through the account you’ll have access to contactless cash, provided you have an Android smartphone that’s registered with the Barclays app. This will allow you to tap your phone onto the card reader at one of Barclays’ ATMs and withdraw up to £300 each day. This account also gives you access to an arranged overdraft as well as money management tools. Through the app, you’ll gain spending insights, helping you to track what you’ve spent where and set daily spending limits. You can also freeze your debit card if you misplace it and unfreeze it again when found, plus get a PIN reminder whenever you need it. The account can also be opened via the app - simply upload a video selfie and add photo ID to verify your identity.
No fees to open or use your account. Option to apply with a video selfie entirely on your phone with the Barclays app. You need to be 18 or over to access this product or service using the app. T&Cs apply. Arranged overdraft of up to £5,000. Overdrafts are subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you’ll be charged interest at 35.0% EAR (variable), 35.0% APR Representative (variable)
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £1
Minimum operating balance £1
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 2.99%
Overseas cash withdrawals 2.99%

Royal Bank of Scotland - Select Account

Select Account
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0.01

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

£175 cash offer when you switch using the Current Account Switching Service.
This everyday bank account from Royal Bank of Scotland can be managed via the mobile app which will also give you access to a feature called Get Cash. This lets you withdraw up to £130 every 24 hours from a RBS, NatWest or Tesco ATM without your card, which could come in handy if you accidentally misplace it or leave it at home. To use the app you must have online banking and a mobile number. There’s no monthly maintenance fee to pay with the Select account and the app enables you to check your credit score for free and save your spare change with Round Ups. This nifty feature means that whenever you spend on your debit card, the amount will be rounded up to the nearest pound and the spare change will be sent to your savings account. An arranged overdraft is available on the account.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.49% EAR variable .
  • No monthly fee
  • Round ups feature
  • Easy to open and manage
  • Arranged overdraft available
  • No interest paid on in-credit balances
  • Interest charged on overdrafts
  • Limited features and benefits
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 2.75%
Overseas cash withdrawals 2.75%

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

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