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The company that produces electronic voting machines has acquired patents for mobile phone technology that allows direct interaction with ATMs.
Diebold announced Tuesday that it received five U.S. patents in the past 18 months for several applications that it claims exceed current mobile banking practices, namely online transactions.
The technologies will allow mobile phone owners to find ATMs, order cash withdrawals remotely, generate electronic checks, transmit wireless payments, and conduct other transactions more securely and conveniently than they do now, Diebold said.
"Diebold's new patented technology has the potential to offer myriad applications to boost the convenience and personal security factors of using an ATM," Jim Block, director, global advanced technology, Diebold, said in a statement.
A study last year found that people in the United States conduct about 8 billion ATM transactions annually. The Dove 2006 ATM Deployer Study shows that ATMs dispense about $600 billion in cash each year.
Block said Diebold is talking with technology partners that could bring the applications, which the company's engineers have already tested, into use within three to five years.
The first patent allows mobile phones to interact directly with ATMs and bank systems for cash withdrawals, with protection against card-skimming or personal identification number surfing at ATMs. Another allows mobiles to work at checkouts or banks to pay payments via secure electronic checks.
The third patent allows bank networks to receive wireless communications from mobile phones for account information. The fourth allows bank ATMs to communicate with mobile devices through a cellular network or other wireless methods. The fifth patent allows users to interact with ATMs through the wireless device's display and keypad instead of the display and keypad on the ATM.