In its latest innovation, Wells Fargo has equipped more than 40 percent of its ATM network with near-field communication capability, allowing customers to conduct ATM transactions using only their smartphone, a mobile wallet app, and a PIN.
Wells Fargo's introduction of ATMs with near-field communication capability is one of the largest rollouts in the financial services industry.
October 10, 2017

New card-free ATM features make banking even easier

In its latest innovation, Wells Fargo has equipped much of its ATM network with near-field communication capability, allowing customers to conduct transactions using only their smartphone, mobile wallet, and their card’s personal identification number.

In a milestone move, Wells Fargo has equipped much of its ATM network with near-field communication (NFC) technology that will introduce “tap and pay” banking to millions of its customers across the U.S.

Over 5,000 of the company’s ATMs now have NFC capability — the same wireless technology that enables customers to use their smartphone and a mobile wallet to pay at a retail checkout line, Wells Fargo officials said. This move adds NFC to over 40 percent of its more than 13,000 ATMs, and the company plans to expand NFC to its entire network by 2019. This video shows how the technology works (45 seconds).

Wells Fargo’s latest innovation comes just six months after it became the first major bank to offer customers card-free access to its entire ATM network. Announced in March 2017, the first card-free ATM feature enabled customers to conduct transactions using their mobile banking app, a one-time access code, and a PIN. Nearly 3 million such transactions have been conducted to date.

Customers can access an NFC-equipped ATM, without having a physical card, by simply opening their mobile wallet (Wells Fargo WalletTM, Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay) and holding their phone near the terminal’s NFC-designated sensor or reader. A customer then enters their debit or EasyPay® card PIN to authenticate, and then completes the transaction. (Note: NFC-enabled ATMs will be identified with an icon on the front of the ATM near the NFC reader.) Visit this page for more details.

Its latest ATM technology enhances Wells Fargo’s ability to serve customers of all generations who are embracing mobile wallets and mobile banking, said Jim Smith, head of Wells Fargo Virtual Channels, the company’s digital services arm. He noted Federal Reserve research showing 53 percent of all bank customers who own a smartphone use mobile banking, and about one-third of customers ages 18 to 44 use digital payments.

“Our customers are increasingly using their smartphones in many areas of their financial lives, from tracking account balances to buying food at the grocery store,” he said. “By enabling mobile wallet users to access NFC-enabled ATMs, this is another example of how we can provide the services they need and be there for our customers wherever they are — at the ATM, branch, or online.”

Continuing to ‘tap into the latest technology’

NFC technology does not require the earlier card-free feature’s one-time code, taking ATM convenience to the next level for Wells Fargo’s more than 20 million mobile banking customers, said Jonathan Velline, head of Strategy & Administration for Wells Fargo’s Community Bank.

“Our NFC-enabled ATMs give customers a seamless new way to conveniently and securely make ATM transactions with their smartphones,” he said. “We believe that shows how the power of mobile enhances the customer experience at our ATMs and our branches.”

Wells Fargo’s NFC upgrade of its ATMs is another initiative that shows the company is at the forefront of financial services technology, said Jason Kratovil, vice president for payments and government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry advocacy group.

“Wells Fargo continues to tap into the latest technology to make banking easier and more secure,” he said. “This launch of NFC-enabled ATMs is another example of the financial industry implementing cutting-edge solutions to help make banking safer and more convenient for consumers.”