Wells Fargo Becomes First To Offer Back Office Paper-To-Electronic Check Conversion Through Multiple Channels
San Francisco — March 6, 2007
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) will become the first financial institution in the U.S. to provide Back Office Conversion (BOC) to its business customers through multiple depository channels when new electronic check processing rules take effect March 16. On that day, businesses can accept eligible checks-those under $25,000 without the "auxiliary on-us" field-at point-of-sale or staffed bill payment locations and convert them later to Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits. Wells Fargo, however, has made the process even easier by offering multiple back office conversion solutions to its business customers regardless of how they make deposits: through cash vaults, banking stores, ATMs, or by remote deposit. "Wells Fargo business customers will be able to choose how to make deposits and instead use us as the back office with Smart DecisionSM, our optimized routing service," said Keith Theisen, senior vice president of Treasury Management for Wells Fargo. "Businesses can use our remote deposit solution, our coast-to-coast network of cash vaults or any of our 3,000-plus banking stores to make check deposits. The checks will then be converted in our back office." The new rules mean that Wells Fargo business customers of every size and type can successfully and affordably share in the benefits of the paper-to-electronic evolution: cost savings in processing, faster checkout lines, quicker access to funds, a single channel for all deposits, improved collection and decreased returns, fewer bank relationships, and comprehensive reporting. Among customers most likely to benefit from the new BOC rules, said Theisen, are retailers, municipalities, educational institutions, and financial services companies. Under the new BOC rules adopted by NACHA-the industry organization that represents more than 12,000 financial institutions and oversees the nation's electronic payment system-businesses no longer have to obtain a signature authorization or need to have scanners installed at the point of sale or at bill payment locations. A business needs only to disclose to its customers that their checks will be converted into electronic payments by means of a notice at the register and on a document that customers take with them - for example, on the back of a receipt. "Businesses have the option to use a single scanner and an Internet connection in the back office," Theisen said. "Combining Desktop Deposit® and Smart DecisionSM, Back Office Conversion has enormous potential to lower costs, expedite access to funds, and improve collections on returned items. Even without a scanner at their location, a business can deposit checks in a more traditional way, such as a cash vault, and still receive the benefits of ACH conversion." Based on the evaluation of a comprehensive business model, Wells Fargo helps each business customer choose the combination of deposit options that provides it with the greatest savings and advantages, Theisen said. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $482 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only U.S. bank, and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest credit rating from both Moody's Investors Service, "Aaa," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AAA."