Editor’s note: A version of this story also appeared in the 2018 Wells Fargo Annual Report.
When the new Propel® Card received a wave of plaudits from customers in 2018, a digital celebration broke out among the hundreds of Wells Fargo team members who had worked hard on the newly enhanced credit card.
“The positive customer response underscored the confidence we had that the Propel Card would be well received in the marketplace,” said Beverly Anderson, head of Wells Fargo Cards and Retail Services. “It strengthened the sense of accomplishment we had all felt from the moment this card was rolled out.”
The enhanced rewards card — Wells Fargo’s latest card with partner American Express — has had a strong appeal for consumers since its arrival last summer.
Driving its appeal, the card has no annual fee, triple points for each dollar spent on eating out and ordering in, travel and transit (including trains, ride-sharing services, gas, flights, and car rentals), and popular streaming services. It also offers one point per dollar for other spending and a potential $300 bonus for new cardholders who spend $3,000 for qualified purchases in the first three months.
Supported by the highly rated Go Far® Rewards program, the Propel Card also gives users a wide range of options for redeeming their rewards points, including for cash at Wells Fargo ATMs, online purchases, gift cards for charitable donations, and sharing points with other cardholders they know.
For Anderson and the Propel Card team, its appeal is no accident. Through market research, focus group studies, and customer interviews, the team spent more than a year testing and developing the concept, model, and implementation strategy.
They combined the scientific method with intuitive insights into people, their spending behavior, and their lifestyles. The project culminated with a card that hits all the right notes for customers and their active lifestyles, whether they are dining out with friends, commuting to work, planning a summer vacation, or binge-watching popular streaming services, Anderson said.
“Based on what consumers told us, we developed a simple, easy-to-understand card that rewards them for the things they are already doing every day,” she said. “We also knew we wanted to deliver a more compelling digital-first experience that would allow people to apply for the new card wherever they happened to be shopping on digital channels.”
In creating the new card, the team rose to every challenge, said Heather Philp, manager of the Propel Card team. They built new digital applications, established card guidelines and underwriting standards, designed new visuals for the card look, and created an omnichannel marketing strategy that integrated desktop, mobile devices, phones, and branches.
The biggest challenge — and the highest priority — was to identify the best value proposition for consumers and their lifestyles, Philp said.
“They wanted a card that would work for their lives, rather than having to make their lives work around the card,” she said. “Listening to the consumer really helped us know that the value proposition, digital experience, and rewards of the Propel Card were truly aligned to what the customers wanted.”
Propel Card Team – By the numbers
- 500+ — Team members who worked on the project
- 24 — Number of states team members were located (plus 2 countries)
- 10 months — Length of project, from development to launch