Wells Fargo Puts Payments at the Front of its Banking App with Innovative New Feature

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Wells Fargo is reimagining the mobile banking experience with a new feature to its mobile app called "Pay with Wells Fargo". The feature will make it easier for the bank's 22 million mobile app users to digitally manage their accounts and make payments on-the-go using just their smartphones and other mobile devices.

Mobile banking has been gradually growing in popularity over recent years. Among smartphone users in the US, nearly two-thirds now have at least one financial app, according to a survey in February this year by Bankrate. 55% have at least one full-service banking app - 70% of which use it every week to review their checking and savings account balances or perform other simple transactions, with 16% using it daily.

(Image source: bankrate.com)

However, while consumers are clearly using their financial apps more frequently, they aren't necessarily satisfied with what's being offered. In fact, according to a D3 Banking Technology survey - also published in February - more than two-thirds (68%) report frustration with the digital banking experience.

The survey found that digital banking users feel it is important for financial institutions to improve their mobile offerings, with 70% wanting mobile deposit, 66% wanting P2P services, and 51% wanting mobile account opening as part of their digital banking offerings.

"Consumers are expecting more out of their mobile and online banking experiences now than ever before as they move more of their transactions and financial data to digital channels," explained Ken Paterson, VP Special Projects and Director of the Customer Interaction Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group, commenting on the findings. "Financial institutions must elevate and expand the features and functionality they provide to their customers and members via devices, or they quickly risk becoming uncompetitive."

Wells Fargo is certainly prepared to face these challenges head-on, and with its new Pay with Wells Fargo feature - which is currently being piloted with Wells Fargo team members before a customer roll-out later this year - the company is hoping to elevate the mobile banking experience for millions of customers.

Making Customers' Financial Lives Easier

Pay with Wells Fargo brings together the most commonly-used digital payment tools - including Zelle, mobile wallets, Card-Free ATM Access Code, mobile check deposits, and money transfers - on the Wells Fargo mobile app home screen, allowing customers to make payments even before signing into the app.

From the new screen, users of the Wells Fargo app can more simply select the feature they want to use and authenticate to immediately send payments, transfer money, or make a purchase with a digital wallet. Wells Fargo says that its mobile data shows that these are the mobile payments features Wells Fargo customers use most often.


(Video source: youtube.com)

Pay with Wells Fargo is the first iteration of a longer-term reinvention of the Wells Fargo mobile banking experience. In a future enhancement, the company plans to launch an additional feature which will allow users to donate money to their favorite charities and non-profits directly from the mobile app - something that Wells Fargo customers value, having donated $8 million at Wells Fargo ATMs since the capability was launched in 2007. Over time, Wells will also update Pay with Wells Fargo so that it can be customized based on customers' personal usage patterns.

Final Thoughts

With Pay with Wells Fargo, the bank is clearly making concerted efforts to improve its mobile offering, and it will be interesting to see whether it becomes a hit with customers when the service is rolled out. Wells is trying to simplify the mobile payment experience and facilitate a range of different payment options directly from the app - effectively putting its name on payments its customer make from non-Wells providers. The feature will ensure that Wells Fargo makes its brand a more visible part of customers' mobile payment experiences and reinforces customers' connection with Wells as their primary financial services provider.

It also comes hot on the heels of the Wells Fargo proprietary Control Tower experience - currently available in a multi-state customer pilot - which enables customers to better manage and control their increasingly complex financial lives. Control Tower allows customers to manage their cards (including turning them on and off), keep track of recurring payments, and manage controls for data sharing.

The overall aim of both new features is to allow Wells Fargo to better meet customers' financial needs via a simple, easy-to-use, and customer-driven mobile experience.

"Pay with Wells Fargo is another step in our journey to transform how we serve customers and provide them with tools that make their financial lives easier and simpler, and put them in better control of their finances," said Wells Fargo's Senior Executive Vice President, Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation, Avid Modjtabai. "The enhancements we are making in mobile are an example of how Wells Fargo is innovating based on customer needs and feedback about how they want to manage their money."

You can hear Marria Rhodriquez, VP, Digital Product Management and Strategy at Wells Fargo, speak at Future Digital Finance 2019 this coming February at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, FL.

Download the Agenda for more information and insights.