October 29, 2015

Innovation across banking channels focuses on customer

The head of ATM Banking and Store Strategy discusses how Wells Fargo serves customers in evolving ways — including mobile, biometrics, and smaller bank branches.

Jonathan Velline, head of ATM Banking and Store Strategy for Wells Fargo, talks about the “omnichannel” strategy behind the company’s digitized neighborhood bank stores, mobile banking, biometrics, and other innovations that are making banking more customer-focused and convenient.

Jonathan Velline, head of ATM Banking and Store Strategy for Wells Fargo

Twenty years ago, I did all my banking at the store and used a checkbook to keep track of my balances. A lot has changed in those two decades (including that Wells Fargo was the first bank to offer customers internet banking, in 1995).

Today, we’re responsible for consistently delivering convenient multi-channel experiences to 26 million active online and 16 million mobile customers so they can use whichever channel best meets their needs. While you might think millennials, in particular, use bricks and mortar banking stores less than other generations, the truth is they use them as much as or more than other generations. They just use them differently: more for guidance than transactions.

My team is always researching how to help all our customers (tech savvy or not) move within and between digital and physical channels with more ease — a strategy we call “omnichannel” — for the way we focus our business around customers and how they use all our channels together to bank with us.

The goal of this omnichannel approach is consistent with our vision and values —  to provide the customer with a seamless experience, from mobile devices to stores, from ATMs to telephone, email, social contacts, and beyond, without them having to start from square one.

A few examples:

  • Click-for-Care: Let’s say you’re checking your balance on your mobile device, but need more help from one of our team members. Click-for-Care allows you to move from our Wells Fargo app to a phone banker in one of our Contact Centers, where they can see that you’re already fully authenticated and don’t have to repeat steps to serve you.
  • Connecting our full-service teller and self-service ATM experiences: In certain neighborhood banking format stores, you can begin your transaction at an ATM, but if you need assistance or if a transaction requires approval, a tablet-equipped team member will provide the help needed to complete your transaction.
  • yourLoan TrackerSM: Created with our Consumer Lending Group, this service improves the homebuying experience by reducing paperwork and allowing you to exchange information with a home mortgage consultant through a mobile device, computer, or tablet, and follow your loan from start to close.
  • Make an Appointment: This feature allows you to schedule an appointment online to meet with your banker at your convenience. You can look up, modify, or cancel an existing appointment online, as well.

Looking ahead

What’s next? Biometrics, for starters. We’ve already tested technology that reads face, voice, and eye prints to access corporate commercial bank accounts and plan to roll out the service to all of our corporate customers in the first half of 2016.

Next year, we’ll begin a voice biometrics pilot and enable voice-based authentication for retail customers calling into our Contact Centers. And by the first quarter of next year, we expect to begin a pilot that gives customers with an Apple Touch ID-enabled device the ability to use their device’s fingerprint authentication to verify they’re a customer instead of their username/password.

Other innovations we’ll roll out soon:

  • A new mobile app experience.
  • Access to online wire transactions.
  • Integration of customers’ credit scores into the online experience.
  • Mobile openings of deposit accounts including capturing driver’s license information using a mobile phone.

Meanwhile, and just as important, we’ve tried to not only increase customer convenience, but also to use innovation to advance environmental sustainability. Last year, in particular, we made significant progress eliminating paper transaction processing in our stores. Now, all of our stores have fully digitized processing of deposits, withdrawals, payments, and other teller transactions, which increases efficiency and reduces paper waste.

There’s so much more to do. But one thing won’t change: our commitment to enhancing the customer experience.