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Wells Fargo customers use ATMs to give $1m for Japan relief efforts

24 March 2011  |  7859 views  |  0 Japanese flag

Wells Fargo says its customers have donated over $1 million through its ATMs over the last 10 days to help disaster relief and recovery efforts in Japan.

The US bank has been letting people use any of its 9000 ATMs to donate to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

When they visit one of the machines customers are greeted with a "donate" option on the main menu screen. They then choose the account they want to use and the amount to give - between $2 and $249.49.

Wells Fargo first introduced its donation system in 2005 but this is the first time it has been rolled out across the entire network.

Jonathan Velline, head, ATM banking and store strategy, Wells Fargo, says: "When we heard the news, we were able to quickly deploy our ATMs and offer customers a convenient way to make donations. The response has far exceeded our expectations."

A systems upgrade to enable ATMs to accept earthquake relief donations has been touted as a possible explanation for outages at Japan's Mizuho bank, which has been beset with problems hitting online banking, cash machines and money transfers.

Mizuho shut down ATMs and online banking services for three days over the weekend as it battled to fix the problems. Although services appear to be back up and running, on Wednesday the bank had still not cleared a backlog, with over 1000 transactions worth 4.6 billion yen not processed, according to Kyodo News.

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