Wells Fargo launches online account alert service

Source: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), which first pioneered Internet banking ten years ago, today is rolling out its latest best-in-class online offering for managing personal and business finances - account alerts.

These free, convenient alerts are delivered to customers' email addresses, providing personalized information that can help them stay on top of recent account activity, thereby helping to detect and prevent fraud.

"Since most identity fraud is self-detected, email alerts such as those now offered by Wells Fargo provide consumers and small businesses with new online tools to more closely monitor their accounts," says James Van Dyke, founder and principal research analyst, Javelin Strategy & Research. "Customers can, for example, create an alert that lets them know when their account balance reaches a certain amount or when a particular check has posted to their account."

"Wells Fargo email alerts are the most comprehensive in the marketplace today in terms of allowing customers and businesses to customize which alerts they receive and in what format," said Jim Smith, executive vice president of Wells Fargo's Consumer Internet Channel. "While other financial institutions offer email alerts, none offer as many different types of alerts and options to customize."

Wells Fargo's email alerts include alerts that inform customers when their account has been suspended due to three incorrect login attempts. These alerts build on Wells Fargo's industry-leading e-bill alerts that let a customer know when a bill arrives, when a payment was sent, and if no payment is scheduled yet.

Tool for Fraud Detection

Javelin found that among fraud victims who discovered fraud through monitoring of their own accounts, online detection resulted in fraud losses that were 1/8 of those who detected crime via paper statements. Wells Fargo email alerts, which contain pertinent information, but mask key personal data, allow customers to better manage their finances and detect fraud. For example, customers with checking, savings, credit card or time accounts can receive a number of alerts based on the type of transactions that occur. All online banking customers can choose to opt in for email alerts to tell them when there have been three incorrect login attempts to their online banking session, to remind them before income taxes are due, and to remind them to make a contribution to an IRA.

Tools for Family Money Management

Services such as email alerts are invaluable tools for family money management. By configuring their alerts to inform them when a balance reaches a threshold or when there is other specific activity posting to an account, joint account holders can keep better track of each other's spending habits and stay on top of their finances. Parents, for example, can more closely monitor accounts they set up for their college students.

For example, email alerts provide notices such as:
  • Tell me when there are two weeks until the income tax filing deadline
  • Tell me when there are only two weeks left for funding an IRA

    A history of all email alerts will also be placed in a customer's secure inbox. Customers can easily change their alerts preferences, and can send alerts to up to three email addresses.

    The Next Generation in Online Financial Services

    "In the early days of Internet banking, customers were most interested in looking at balances and transferring money between accounts," said Jim Smith. "Now, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Internet banking at Wells Fargo, they are looking for free online tools, such as email alerts and My Spending Report, that can help them better organize their money."

    Wells Fargo offers the most types of free alerts and options to customize them and is the only company to offer:
  • Alerts regarding number of purchases over a particular amount in a day on a credit card
  • Income tax day, IRA and check order reminders

    Other key features include:
  • The ability to set up both banking and credit card alerts at the same time and using a single sign on
  • Online banking lockout alerts (which was highly rated by customers and lets users know when someone tries to access their account with an incorrect password)
  • Alerts for small business customers

    A history of these email alerts can be accessed in a secure online banking session. The service allows a customer to proactively monitor information on their accounts for convenience and security. Email alerts are easy to access and navigate and completely secure, and they provide an additional sense of comfort by allowing customers to remotely monitor the account activity about which they are most concerned.

    Signing up is simple and free. Wells Fargo email alerts are available to all online banking customers and are accessed using an online banking password.

    The next generation of online financial services is taking form in many ways. For example, Wells Fargo also recently introduced My Spending Report, a free online financial management tool that gives customers a daily, consolidated overview of their personal spending - including check card spending, credit card spending, checking and Bill Pay - accessible anytime, anywhere. My Spending Report eliminates the time and cost usually associated with personal finance software.
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