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Wells Fargo ditches OneLook account aggregation service

28 November 2005  |  14575 views  |  0 wells_fargo_3

US bank Wells Fargo is scrapping its free account aggregation service OneLook early next year due to poor customer uptake.

The bank launched OneLook in March 2001 to provide its online banking customers with single sign-on access to balances across multiple financial institutions.

Although uptake of the system was good in the first two years, only a small number of customers carried on using the service on a regular basis. As a result Well Fargo says the service will be discontinued in February next year.

Earlier this year Citigroup also abandoned its account aggregation service, called My Accounts, due to low customer enrollment. Citigroup spokesman Mark Rodgers told Reuters reporters that the bank had no current plans to reintroduce the service.

Increasing concerns over online fraud are thought to have led to customers abandoning some aggregation services, especially as to use the system customers have to provide user IDs and passwords for all accounts - including those from other institutions - to their bank.

The introduction of two-factor authentication in the US next year is also expected to impact negatively on the use of aggregation by online banking customers. A report released by Forrester Research in June this year predicted that the introduction of two-factor authentication would be "the death knell" of account aggregation services as they are currently implemented.

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