Wells Fargo Plans to Update Customers’ In-App Payment Experience in 2019

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Wells Fargo & Company plans to reconfigure its mobile and payments experience in 2019. Originally announced in May 2018, “Pay with Wells Fargo” will bring together the bank’s various payments points in its mobile app and gather them in one spot. It was teased again this week at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services conference in New York.

The San Francisco-based bank launched a wallet product for Android devices in 2016 that functions much like Google Pay and Samsung Pay — load cards, deploy them at the point of sale — but this should not be confused with the effort announced this year.

Ben Soccorsy, head of digital payments for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels described the Pay with Wells Fargo service, currently in team member pilot, this way:

Pay with Wells Fargo brings to the mobile app home screen an option for customers to view their balances and conveniently select their most commonly used payment and payment-related features like Zelle, bill pay, mobile wallets, and transfers – without first having to sign into and navigate through the app. Pay with Wells Fargo is focused on making it easy and quick for customers to pay who they need to pay. From the new screen, customers 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. The experience is currently in an all-team member pilot and we intend to launch it to customers in 2019.

Soccorsy described the older effort in this way:

Launched in 2016, Wells Fargo Wallet is another easy, convenient and secure way for our customers to make payments from an Android or iOS phone. Built in-house, it was designed to offer a unique experience for our customers, while providing us with a richer understanding of the quickly evolving payments landscape so that we can be better informed to innovate for customer needs. In addition to Wells Fargo Wallet, we are pleased to continue to provide Wells Fargo customers with our collaborative mobile payment options including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. We want to satisfy our customers’ financial needs when, where and how they want, and allowing them to pay from any mobile wallet they choose helps us fulfill that promise.

Wells Fargo’s payments strategy is set by the payments, virtual solutions and innovation group, led by Avid Modjtabai, the company told Bank Innovation. Soccorsy leads the development of Pay with Wells Fargo.

Asked how he views the adoption of mobile payments in the next year or so, Soccorsy said the bank wanted to meet customers where they are, and noted the “steady” uptick in NFC-capable terminals:

We want our digital products to be where our customers are. As payments become more integrated into everyday digital experiences, we’re focused on securely integrating into these experiences so our customers enjoy seamless payments that work whenever and wherever. We believe that the steady increase of NFC-enabled payment terminals, in addition to the proliferation of NFC-enabled ATMs, will drive customer adoption of mobile wallets. Millions of US retail stores have NFC-enabled payment terminals, and the majority of Wells Fargo’s ATMs are NFC-enabled today.

Mobile payments adoption is on the rise but remains sluggish due to lack of enthusiasm from merchants, consumers, and banks. It is a far different story internationally. Still, the larger banks, and larger retailers, all have a stake in the game in the U.S.

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