As Americans increasingly rely on mobile devices for communications and financial management, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) today announced it has expanded availability of Wells Fargo Mobile Banking service for iPhone and iPod touch users by making it accessible from Apple's App Store online.
Wells Fargo's secure and innovative mobile banking provides customers with mobile account access that is fully iPhone and iPod touch-optimized. This ensures that key banking tasks such as checking account balances, moving money between Wells Fargo accounts and paying bills can be done quickly. In addition, Wells Fargo Mobile Banking is integrated with the iPhone and iPod touch built-in maps feature so customers can search for the nearest ATM or Wells Fargo banking store with the touch-of-a-button.
According to Aite Group, a leading independent research and advisory firm, the mobile banking market is expected to more than double in 2009 to 21.1 million users in the United States. That's expected to increase to 35 million users by 2011. Aite Group attributes that growth to consumers' desire to access financial services remotely, increased mobile device penetration, more sophisticated devices, faster networks and increasing familiarity with data applications.
"We're committed to providing products and services that meet our customers' evolving banking needs," said Secil Watson, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Internet Services Group. "We've been providing the mobile banking service for nearly two years, and we know that customers want and demand convenient banking solutions that help them manage finances while on-the-go. We help them view accounts and take care of tasks anytime, anywhere -- whether it's a customer in a taxi or a customer who realizes at the last minute that the utility bill needs to be paid before leaving for vacation."
The free* service allows users to connect to their Wells Fargo accounts in two easy ways:
1. Customers who browse the web on their mobile phone can go to Wells Fargo's mobile website at WF.com and sign on to their bank accounts to:
- Check account balances
- Check account activity
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Pay a bill
- Find the nearest ATM or store location
2. Customers who send text messages on their phone can send a text message to the short code "93557" (for "WELLS") to automatically receive their balance within moments - without having to log in.
- Type - "bal" to check primary account balance
- Type - "bal all" to check all account balances
- Type - "act" to check recent account activity
"Mobile phones are becoming an integral part of our customers' lifestyles," said Arah Erickson, head of Wells Fargo's Retail Mobile Banking. "People are expecting to do so much more on their phones: check e-mail, get directions at a maps site or find a restaurant. That's why we're seeing ever increasing adoption of mobile banking. We have seen growth beyond our expectations."
Wells Fargo customers use the mobile website service an average of six times per month and text banking customers send a balance request an average of 19 times a month.
The Wells Fargo Mobile service has a number of practical uses:
- Consumers can review their account balances while standing in the store checkout aisle. This option can help ease anxiety about making a large or special purchase.
- Travelers can search for the nearest ATM location "on the spot." This helps save time for travelers who want to find an ATM quickly and are in a hurry.
- Working parents can pay a bill while attending their sons' or daughters' soccer practice. This allows parents to address their "to do" lists in real-time.
- College students, who have grown up relying on their mobile phones, can check account balances while walking to the campus bookstore. To ensure there is enough money to cover a purchase, they can easily make a transfer from the savings account to the checking account.
The free* Wells Fargo Mobile Banking app is available from Apple's App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at itunes.com/appstore/.
For those customers who use a BlackBerry smartphone, a WF.com icon can be placed on the home screen for "one-click" access to Wells Fargo anytime. Just go to WF.com from the BlackBerry browser and follow the simple steps to download the icon.
Mobile Banking is covered by the Wells Fargo Online Security Guarantee. Mobile banking sessions have the same layered security approach and technology as all sessions on wellsfargo.com. In text banking sessions, there's never more information in a text message than would be found on an ATM receipt.