Wells Fargo’s Mobile Banking Agenda for 2018


EXCLUSIVE – With over 28 million digital customers (online and mobile) in 2017, it seems only logical that Wells Fargo is increasing investment in its mobile app.

That investment ranges from initiatives of improving the existing mobile experience to incorporating new technologies like biometrics over the course of the year, Ryan Miller, senior vice president, design and delivery leader in the Innovation Group at the bank, told Bank Innovation.

Of course, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is not alone in this race of mobile banking, most major banks are trying to better their mobile apps. Bank of America, for example, rolled out a series of new features to its mobile app in December. BofA’s mobile users, according to its Q4’17 results, is 24.2 million, while Wells Fargo has 21.1 million active mobile users over the same period, according to data gathered by Bank Innovation. 

However, he mentioned one factor contributing to Wells Fargo’s growing mobile users to be P2P payment app Zelle. The bank had three million active users on Wells Fargo’s Zelle last year, and is adding 1,000 new ones per day. In 2017, Miller said, Wells moved over $10 billion in P2P through Zelle transactions, while Zelle, in its entirety, moved about $75 billion in 2017.

“As of May 2017, there was a switch in the number of active users of our mobile app and active users online,” Miller said. “Mobile users were higher, so that alone is an indication of how important the mobile phone is as a banking platform, which is why we are heavily investing in mobile and online.”

Like Bank of America, which rolled out Express Checking Account Application in December, a feature letting customers apply for a checking account within the banking app, and making it a single-page application process that’s pre-populated with the customer’s information, onboarding is important to Wells Fargo too.

In fact, Miller said, the bank is currently working on cutting the online application process to five minutes.

“We want to make the experience quicker and easier,” he said. “One way is eliminating repeat questions, and identifying ways to help someone, open an account seamlessly and then get their payment device on their phones within minutes.”

To achieve this, once a user opens an account, loads money into it, they can transfer money into their preferred wallet, while they wait for the plastic card to arrive in the mail. Parts of this project that are still in production, and some parts already being piloted, Miller said. Improving and adding new features to the bank’s onboarding process will be one of the bank’s major focuses in 2018, he said.

To learn more about mobile banking, join us on March 5-6, 2018 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco for Bank Innovation 2018. Click here to register.

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