Wells Fargo and Company

October 22, 2007 05:37 ET

Wells Fargo Launches Mobile Text Banking Service

First Major Financial Services Company to Offer Consumer and Small Business Customers Both Browser- and Text-Based Account Access via Mobile Devices

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 22, 2007) - Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced another component of its Wells Fargo Mobile(SM) service: text banking. This addition makes Wells Fargo the first major financial services company in the country to offer its consumer and small business customers both browser- and text-based account access via their mobile devices.

"We don't believe any one mobile banking method will ultimately provide all the functions customers demand, which is why we're offering two ways for consumers to bank with us through a mobile device," said Eskander Matta, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Internet Services Group. "And this is just the beginning - we will continue to build a comprehensive mobile banking channel with solutions tailored to our consumer, small business and commercial customers."

The new service enables customers to connect to their Wells Fargo accounts from a mobile phone through text messaging. Customers first enroll online to activate the text banking service and then simply send a text message to a Wells Fargo-specific short code number, 93557 (WELLS). After sending one of the Wells Fargo Mobile text banking shortcut commands, they will then receive a reply with the requested information. Examples of shortcut commands include:

-- "bal" for primary account balance

-- "bal all" for all account balances

-- "act" for most recent account activity

-- "help" to receive a list of available text commands as well as the phone number for customer service

Large numbers of consumers are turning to text messaging, also known as short message service (SMS), as a primary means of communication. According to InsightExpress, an online market research firm, 43 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds send text messages daily. Additionally, 42 percent of the U.S. wireless customer base sent a text message during a three-month period ending July 31, 2007, according to M:Metrics, a research firm that measures the mobile media audience.

"Mobile banking is all about giving customers the choices they demand and need," said Matta. "Whether they want to use our browser-based mobile service or the text banking service, they can be assured that real-time banking updates are never farther away than their cell phone or other mobile device."

All Wells Fargo Mobile transactions are covered by the Wells Fargo 100 percent Online Security Guarantee, and the Wells Fargo Mobile Text Banking service does not send a text message with any confidential information. Account numbers are never displayed via text banking, but are represented by the mobile account nicknames that a customer specifies during enrollment.

Wells Fargo was the first financial institution to introduce access to banking accounts on the Internet in 1995. Already this year, the company has made multiple announcements regarding mobile banking including:

-- Wells Fargo became the first major U.S. financial services company to offer a mobile service for businesses with its CEO Mobile(SM) service in May.

-- Wells Fargo and Visa USA announced an extensive mobile pilot to test consumer mobile payments and services in June.

-- The company introduced Wells Fargo Mobile(SM), a browser-based mobile banking solution available to all of its customers nationwide in July.

-- Wells Fargo delivered a browser-based solution giving small business owners nationwide mobile access to their business and personal financial information in September.

About Wells Fargo & Company

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $549 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., 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."

Contact Information

  • For Wells Fargo & Company
    Michele R. Scott
    Andrea Mahoney