Wells Fargo Marks 15 Years of Serving Customers Online

Pioneering spirit led Wells Fargo to become first bank in the nation to enable customers ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to accounts

SAN FRANCISCO - May 18, 2010

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) commemorates its 15-year anniversary of online banking with enhancements to its website and more customer-friendly features that are just mouse clicks away.

On May 18, 1995, Wells Fargo became the first bank in the nation to give customers free Internet access to current balances in their checking, savings, line of credit and credit card accounts. The service showed customers’ transaction histories for checking and savings accounts. Today, to address customers’ desires for more online service and help, the company announced:

  • enhancements to the Wells Fargo’s Smarter Credit™ Center, an online resource at www.wellsfargo.com/smarter_credit that provides even more robust information and guidance to help customers be smarter about credit – whether it’s establishing credit for the first time, reducing debt, getting more credit, or managing and protecting credit for the long term.
  • reduced time to complete a credit card application by 67 percent

Wells Fargo continues to use the latest technology to increase customer convenience and satisfaction, serving 17.2 million combined active online customers, 4.2 million combined active Bill Pay customers and 3 million active mobile banking customers; receiving more than 2 billion customer visits per year; and conducting more than 1.2 billion online money transfers annually.

“The online channel supports one of Wells Fargo’s core values of allowing customers to transact anytime, anywhere in order to meet their needs,” said Jim Smith, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s Internet Services Group. “Wellsfargo.com is not a stand-alone channel but is integrated with Wells Fargo’s banking stores, phone bankers, the ATM network and mobile and text banking.”

In the early days of online banking, customers primarily used online account access to check balances and transfer money between accounts. Today, customers want the convenience of accessing accounts via a secure web browser to pay mortgage, credit card, and other bills, to apply for student loans, to manage their budgets, and to do many other activities. Online banking has become an essential tool for consumers and business owners for financial management. Wells Fargo gives customers choice, letting them decide how they want to bank, and how they want to integrate the Internet into their financial management.

More Online Anniversaries
Wells Fargo also is celebrating these online anniversaries:
1995 First bank to provide secure credit card transactions on the Internet for a merchant, Virtual Vineyards, now Wine.com.
2000 Launches the Commercial Electronic Office®, a first-to-market financial services portal for mid-sized companies and large corporations that offers cash and treasury management, investment, procurement, international, trust, and credit and loan services online.
2005 First bank to launch My Spending Report, a patented, first-to-market free online money management tool that helps customers create a budget in as few as two clicks and monitors their progress throughout the month, so they can identify opportunities to spend less – delivering the information customers need to stay on budget and gain more control of their finances.

“Our philosophy at Wells Fargo for the past 15 years has been to listen to customers and learn from them,” Smith said. “With the accelerated rate of technological advances plus faster adoption – the best is yet to come.”

Through its customer experience and market research approaches, including Voice of the Customer program and ethnography research — which includes visiting customers in their home or office, Smith said Wells Fargo has a deep understanding of its customers’ financial needs and how they use banking products and services across all channels. This research drives innovation and product development and ensures customer needs are central to Wells Fargo offerings.

Wells Fargo Labs (wellsfargo.com/labs) engages both customers and non-customers through the Wells Fargo public site. It lets customer experiences shape and enhance new and existing products, through feedback.

Security is Guaranteed
Wells Fargo online banking is guaranteed secure. With its Online Security Guarantee, Wells Fargo makes sure that its customers will be covered for 100 percent of the funds in their Wells Fargo account in the unlikely event that someone the customer has not authorized removes those funds through Wells Fargo Online ® or Wells Fargo Business Online ® . Mobile Banking is also covered by the Online Security Guarantee. Customers are responsible for protecting their password and account information and for providing prompt notification of an unauthorized transaction. Visit https://www.wellsfargo.com/privacy_security/online/guarantee to learn more.

About Wells Fargo Online, Mobile & Text Banking
Wells Fargo is a leading provider of online and mobile financial services for individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, and large corporations with a full range of banking, money movement, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products. Wells Fargo has been named the No. 1 Consumer Internet Bank in North America by Global Finance magazine (November 2009), earned an “A” grade from ABI Research for Wells Fargo Mobile (September 2009); ranked the No. 1 website out of 68 leading U.S. corporations' websites for technology innovation by the Brookings Institution (July 2009) and was awarded two Monarch Innovation Awards by Barlow Research for online services for small business, including Foreign Exchange Online and My Spending Report with Budget Watch (February 2009).

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com) across North America and internationally.