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This week Wells Fargo launched its Wells Fargo Wallet nationally to create a seamless customer experience.
Jim Smith, Head of Wells Fargo Virtual Channels at Wells Fargo, participated in a Q&A with Loyalty360 to talk more about this significant launch.
What factors prompted Wells Fargo to launch its mobile wallet and what are your goals for it from a customer experience/customer engagement perspective?
Smith: Wells Fargo Wallet is another easy, convenient and secure way for our customers to make payments from an Android phone. Across the globe, Wells Fargo team members have been using the wallet and providing valuable feedback. Built in-house, it’s designed to provide a seamless banking experience for customers.
We know mobile is key to the future of payments and we expect Wells Fargo Wallet to offer a unique experience for our customers, while providing us with a richer understanding of the quickly evolving payments landscape so that we can be better informed to innovate for customer needs.
We continue to hear about brands that are looking to create alignment between their customer loyalty efforts and the brand promise. Should all brands try to become the next “Apple” or “Amazon?” Or is it more realistic and/or beneficial for brands to understand their own unique brand identity, and then define objectives, process and programs that align with that unique identity?
We believe that competition from fintech companies ultimately benefits our customers. Wells Fargo and fintech companies learn from each other — sometimes we partner with them, sometimes we invest in them, and other times we compete.
There is a lot of talk about customers changing. How do you feel customers are changing and how are you adapting to that change? Is this just the case for your brand or vertical? Or is this affecting everyone?
Customers have higher expectations of their interactions with us. They expect convenient self- and full-service options, when, where, and how they choose. They also expect it to be easy for them to cross channels, but that has historically presented challenges. To overcome those challenges, we have to understand how to value omnichannel experiences in order to drive investment. Creating compelling omnichannel experiences is not just a design or technology task. It requires significant shifts in business thinking.
What are the challenges you face with data, analytics and creating insight today, and how has that changed over the past 18 months?
We organize data around the end-to-end customer experience in order to be more proactive on their behalf. We’re focused on not just big data, but smart data: Using our data faster and more effectively to proactively solve customer and business problems.
How are you leveraging mobile to create better customer experiences and drive loyalty with your audience?
Wells Fargo Wallet for Android users gives customers the unique ability to make secure NFC payments directly from the Wells Fargo mobile app. Customers simply unlock their phones, tap and pay. Rather than having to download a separate app or take a picture of your card, Wells Fargo Wallet for Android is part of the native Wells Fargo app, and Wells Fargo cards can be added with the click of a button. For more seamless money management, customers may view account balance information within the app before and immediately after a purchase. According to a recent report from the Federal Reserve, 62% of mobile banking users checked their account balances on their phones before making a large purchase, and half of them decided not to purchase an item as a result of their account balance or credit limit. Wells Fargo Wallet provides the unique ability to check a balance before and after making a purchase, putting customers in better control of their finances.
In addition to the ability to make payments at NFC-enabled payment terminals, customers will also be able to use Wells Fargo Wallet, along with other leading mobile wallets, to conduct ATM transactions without using a physical debit or ATM card. More than 40% of Wells Fargo’s ATMs will be NFC-enabled by the end of 2016.
What is the biggest challenge and/or opportunity you see in mobile?
With the surge of online and mobile banking, there has been tremendous data growth. Each of these interactions provides us with an opportunity to more accurately identify a customer’s specific needs and interests. From there, we can evolve or improve how we provide a service or develop a new one.
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