Banks Look to Cellphones toReplace A.T.M. Cards手機取代提款卡 美銀行力推
Wallets can be lost, stolen or forgotten, but most people today would not be caught dead without their phones.
Banks understand, and are grabbing on to that trend. Customers who do not want to fumble around in their wallet for their ATM card — or who have misplaced it for the umpteenth time — will soon be able to unlock cash dispensers' coffers by using their phone.
JPMorgan Chase, which has more ATMs in the United States — 18,000 — than any other bank, has activated this technology on a few hundred machines in four test cities, including Miami and San Francisco. Six thousand more are upgraded and ready to go.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo plan to introduce cardless options to all their machines by the end of the year. And while swiping an ATM card may not exactly seem onerous, bankers think going card-free will be a hit with consumers.
"It's about having the choice," said Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo's head of ATM and branch banking. "If you've lost your card or left home without your wallet, chances are you still have your smartphone in your hand."
But of course, any new financial technology brings with it new security holes.
For decades banks have battled "skimming," in which criminals sabotage ATMs to steal the information off a card and use it to clear out people's accounts. The replacement of magnetic stripe cards with chip cards significantly reduced that problem, but mobile access brings in new worries.
One Chase customer recently had $2,900 stolen from her account through the bank's new cardless system — which she had never used. A thief got her online banking user name and password, installed Chase's mobile app on his or her phone, and used it to withdraw cash. Unlike most cardless systems, Chase's does not require customers to enter their four-digit PIN at the cash machine.
Chase refunded the customer's lost money and immediately made security changes. "We've put safeguards in place to protect our customers," said Michael Fusco, a Chase spokesman. The bank's system still does not require PINs, but Chase is confident it can detect and prevent similar attacks, he said.
Other banks have fared better, and say their fraud rates on mobile ATM transactions are significantly lower than those for traditional card-swipe withdrawals.
Wintrust Financial, which operates community banks in Illinois and Wisconsin, added cardless access to all its 250 cash machines nearly three years ago. Thanks to multiple layers of security, there has been no fraud so far, said Thomas P. Ormseth, a senior vice president at the bank. ("Knock on wood," he added.)
But now comes another rich revelation: The anonymously published tale was nothing less than a complete novel by Walt Whitman.
The 36,000-word "Life and Adventures of Jack Engle," which was discovered last summer by a graduate student, has been republished online by The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and in book form by the University of Iowa Press. A quasi-Dickensian tale of an orphan's adventures, it features a villainous lawyer, virtuous Quakers, glad-handing politicians, a sultry Spanish dancer and more than a few unlikely plot twists and jarring narrative shifts.
"This is Whitman's take on the city mystery novel, a popular genre of the day that pitted the 'upper 10 thousand' — what we would call the 1 percent — against the lower million," said David S. Reynolds, a Whitman expert at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
But it also, Reynolds and other scholars who have seen it say, offers clues to another mystery: how a workaday journalist and mostly conventional poet transformed himself into the author of the sensuous, philosophical, wildly experimental and altogether unclassifiable free verse of "Leaves of Grass."
That transformation was one that Whitman himself wished to obscure.
That doesn't faze Zachary Turpin, the graduate student at the University of Houston who found "Jack Engle."
Turpin called it "rollicking, interesting, beautiful, beautiful and bizarre," with antic twists, goofy names and suddenly revealed conspiracies that recall "a pre-modern Thomas Pynchon" or even, he ventured, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."
This may sound a long way from "Leaves of Grass." But Jack Engle and the other raffish young male characters, Reynolds said, are reminiscent of the man-of-the-streets persona he created with "Leaves of Grass."
And then there's Chapter 19, which Ed Folsom, editor of The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review called "a magical moment." Here, Jack enters the cemetery at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, and the madcap plot grinds to a halt in favor of reveries about nature, immortality and the oneness of being that strikingly echo the imagery of Whitman's great work.