Wells Fargo introduces direct deposit service for small businesses

Source: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) today announced new direct deposit functions for its Business Online Banking services to help small businesses simplify and speed up their management of cash flow.

The newest addition is the patent-pending Employer Direct Pay, which provides business owners with a fast and secure way to make direct deposit payments to employee bank accounts, contractors or sales agents anywhere in the U.S.

Wells Fargo was recently identified as a Best Practice company for Deposit Account Application and Online Bill Payment by Barlow Research, specializing in small business and middle market research and analysis, which measured the small business internet experience of 12 national banks, including Wells Fargo.

"Our products and services are designed to help customers do more online, simply and easily, eliminating the complexity of processing payments and managing finances," said Mark Baumli, head of Wells Fargo's Business Internet Services. "Whether our customers are quick or slow to adopt online technology, we can give them easy access to the financial information and services they need."

According to a recent survey by Greenwich Associates, a financial research firm, two-thirds of small businesses use electronic services for some of their banking. Over half say they would prefer to conduct all their banking online.

NEW: Employer Direct Pay

With Wells Fargo's new Employer Direct Pay, business owners and authorized signers may directly deposit employee net pay, reimbursed expenses and commissions to the respective accounts, and also make one-time or recurring payments to contractors or agents. The service is fully integrated with Wells Fargo Business Online Banking and simplifies payroll distribution while eliminating potential check fraud. Business owners can also:

  • Maximize their daily cash flow because funds are debited from the account by 3 p.m. Pacific Time on the date a payment is scheduled to be sent.
  • Provide view-only access for up to 25 individuals, so that key employees, accountants and bookkeepers can review the company's account information and check images. They may also download online statements.
  • Set-up email alerts, which enhance the customer experience by automatically providing helpful information, such as an alert that notifies the user when there is insufficient funding or there is a problem with a routing number, for example. Employees receive an alert when their checks are deposited into their accounts.

Wells Fargo is providing RSA Security's RSA SecurID two-factor authentication tokens for all Employer Direct Pay customers as an extra layer for fraud prevention.

"We launched internet banking for small business customers in 2000, and we continue to respond to their needs by working with them directly to keep abreast of their business challenges and needs," said Adam Vancini, senior vice president, Wells Fargo's Business Internet Services. "Our customers save time by having a single, easy place to manage their finances and obtain timely information."

Online Payment Solutions

In addition to expediting payroll deposits and reimbursed expenses through Employer Direct Pay, Wells Fargo offers additional payment solutions to help customers save time and manage cash flow, including the following:

  • Business Bill Pay enables customers to make payments up to $50,000 and arrange payments in advance. By scheduling a payment of one-time or periodic expenses, such as rent and leases, customers can be assured that payments will be made securely and on time, saving them the effort of manually submitting payments. In addition, customers can receive bills online from participating vendors - such as phone companies, utilities, insurance vendors and others - eliminating unnecessary paperwork and helping protect the environment.
  • Online Transfers allow business owners to easily and quickly move funds between several business accounts, and between business and personal accounts or brokerage accounts. Customers also can set up automatic transfers and make payments to eligible Wells Fargo credit accounts through this service.
  • WellsTAX service enables businesses to pay their business taxes online, anytime. The process is as simple as transferring funds between accounts, and ensures federal, state and many local business tax deadlines are met. Business owners receive immediate confirmation of tax payments.

Wells Fargo also provides online resources and services for small business owners that help them save financial records, eliminate paper easily, and in some cases, detect and prevent fraud, including:

  • Account Activity is easily accessible and provides a consolidated view of all Wells Fargo business checking, credit cards, lines of credit and other accounts. Up to 90 days of account history can be downloaded for review.
  • Online Statements are also available for checking and savings accounts and some loans, and are accessible for up to seven years.
  • Check images of cancelled checks may be viewed, both front and back, to confirm when checks have cleared and that they were received by the appropriate party.
  • Email Alerts are free and delivered to customers' email addresses, providing personalized information to help them effectively manage recent account activity, thereby helping them to detect and prevent fraud. A customer can receive email alerts for Checking and/or Savings accounts, Employer Direct Pay and Business Bill Pay. Alerts notify users about daily balances; when checks are paid, deposits clear, bills are due; or when an account reaches a specified balance limit, and more.
  • Business Spending Report allows customers to track their spending for 16 months by a variety of expense categories such as supply/stationery and utilities/telecom for Wells Fargo┬« Business Check Card, Credit Card and Bill Pay.
  • An educational, award-winning newsletter is available on the Web site with practical customer tips such as finding the right financial advisor and taking accounting online for managing finances more easily.

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