I swear to God, I get amazed by China all the time (sometimes appalled is a better word, but today amazed is more appropriate).

I went to a mall with the wife to look for a pair of hand wraps and gloves for boxing.

On a side note, I’ve been really intrigued by boxing lately and started training myself by watching Youtube videos and using the punching bag at my gym. I’ve  scraped and bruised my hands on a number of occasions already, and I figured it was time to get some proper gear for my hands.

Anyway, we were walking around and I see an ATM for a bank I used (China Merchants Bank for those wondering).

I just filled up my car the previous night, and I had zero cash on me or at home. Even though I rarely use cash anymore, the few times I do consist of paying for gas (I haven’t seen QR codes at gas stations yet), parking fees, and… actually I think that’s about it right now.

Everything else I can pay for through my phone.

So I thought great, I’ll go withdraw some cash from the ATM. Of course when I reached for my wallet, I suddenly realized I haven’t carried my wallet in about half a year already.

“Oh well, forget it,” I said to Celine.

“Why don’t you see if you can use your phone to get cash?” She responded.


And she went off to walk around Zara before I could ask her what she meant.

When I got up to the machine, lo and behold, there was an option at the bottom for “Withdraw with Phone.” I pressed into it, but had no idea how it worked. From the pictures and characters, I think the ATM would somehow scan a chip in my phone that could verify my identify and then spit out cash?

So I tried flashing and waving my phone in front of the ATM like an idiot, but to no avail. No cash came out.

As I was about to give up, there was another option I noticed on the bottom of the ATM, which was “Scan for Cash.”

Turns out, when you press that option, what else but a QR code pops up.

Luckily, I had the App for China Merchants, and I used it to scan the QR code. I entered my password onto the ATM for verification, and I could withdraw up to 3,000 RMB.

I thought this was so fucking cool.

Yeh I know there are a ton of security issues with this. If I lost my phone and whatnot. But in actuality, they would still need to know my ATM passcode to get any cash. Not to mention I have to sign into my banking App as well.

Anyway, it’s really amazing how much mobile payments has changed the way I live my daily life. Just today, I used my phone to pay for my takeout lunch, dinner at a cafeteria, my hand wraps, a Boston Creme donut from Dunkin’ Donuts (those are amazing by the way, if I wasn’t trying to lose weight I would eat them every week) and now getting cash from an ATM. A few years ago, it was impossible for me to leave the house without my wallet. I still used cash occasionally, and my wallet also carried all my credit cards.

Now, in China, all I ever need when I leave the house are my keys and my phone.

Damn everything is so convenient here.

Withdrawing Cash With My Smartphone