The new contactless feature allows customers to tap on contactless-enabled ATMs, enter their PIN and proceed to transact. The contactless feature's main benefits are speeding up the card verification process and limiting unnecessary contact with devices.
"Just tap your card on the reader, a green indicator next to the card slot, and enter your PIN to proceed with your transaction. You can do all the same transactions that can be done when inserting your card. This includes withdrawing and depositing cash, viewing statements, changing PINs and transferring money. It is available to all Bank Windhoek customers and other banking institutions' customers at our newly installed Cash Accepting ATMs with the contactless symbol. It further ensures that we meet Visa's requirement to roll out the feature to our customers," said David Nell, Bank Windhoek's Stream Lead for Automated Cash Services.
The contactless ATM functionality complements the existing touch-free Point-of-Sale (POS) tap functionality available at most Namibian retailers.
The rapid growth in contactless card payments grew from microprocessor chip cards, introduced after 2016 locally. In 2018, the microprocessor smart card market accounted for most of the payment industry share. These cards include a small microchip that processes and stores electronic data while securing data, assets, and identity.
However, according to Jupiter Research, a research and data analytics company, the combination of accelerated card issuance and usage during the pandemic with a series of global transaction limit increases has unlocked significant growth potential for contactless payments. Market growth has already been catalysed by increased contactless card use in previously underdeveloped markets.
"Introducing the first contactless ATMs in Namibia shows the Bank's commitment to delivering enhanced customer experiences to all banking customers," said Nell. Bank Windhoek was also the first bank to introduce cellphone banking in Namibia in 2009.
Nell reminded all banking customers that they should remain vigilant and never share their PIN with anyone to ensure safe and secure banking. “Never accept help when at the ATM and ensure a safe distance between you and the next customer when transacting," he said.