Wells Fargo and Visa are to undertake a public trial of mobile payments technology with up to 500 customers in the fourth quarter of the year.
The move to a public pilot follows positive feedback from an internal laboratory trial conducted by the bank in April. The West Coast bank says it will undertake a second phase of testing this summer with 30 to 50 Wells Fargo employees using the technology at merchants that accept Visa's payWave contactless cards.
Pilot participants will be able to securely download payment account information over-the-air, make mobile payments in stores and restaurants, store and redeem mobile coupons, and access account management features to monitor credit or debit account activity and manage funds.
The third phase will expand to a public trial with 300 to 500 Wells Fargo Visa cardholders, and will include additional pilot partners says Peter Ho, product manager in Wells Fargo's card services division.
"Mobile devices have become an integral part of everyday life, just as electronic payments have," he says. "Our customers expect the flexibility and convenience that mobile payments and services provide."
Wells Fargo is not alone in testing the technology for mobile payments. HSBC, Citibank and Bank of America have each conducted technical trials in the US.
The m-payment application adds to a raft of pilot approaches to mobile banking currently under scrutiny at the Wells Fargo customer experience labs. These include the use of mobile browsers, SMS or text messaging and downloadable applications to provide banking services to people on the move