As anticipated (after Steve Ellis' not so subtle hints at the NACHA Payments conference last month), Wells Fargo has announced mobile banking service for business customers. This is a first in the industry as all other mobile efforts have been targeted at consumers. And from my perspective, it is a wise move on Wells' part, as business customers are more likely to tolerate a fee for mobile access than their consumer counterparts.
Wells Fargo press release:
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) has introduced its CEO Mobile (SM) service to a select group of customers, becoming the first major U.S. financial services company to offer mobile service for businesses.
The initial version of the CEO Mobile service, made available to a small number of business customers on April 30, delivers key treasury reports through a secure browser session. Functions that Wells Fargo plans to add later this year include wire approvals, image positive pay exceptions, and administrative tools such as password resets.
"Mobile service makes executing financial transactions more convenient and flexible for our business customers," said Megan Minich, who leads the Mobile Technologies team for Wells Fargo's Wholesale Internet and Treasury Solutions. "With each new step, we'll gather customer feedback and refine our interface to ensure it's usable, streamlined and simple."
Wells Fargo has extended the same strong security features to its CEO Mobile service that it employs for its Commercial Electronic Office® (CEO®) portal, including:
* Authenticating users with the same credentials they use on the CEO portal,
* Protecting data with 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, and
* Enforcing session time-out rules.
We want to be where our customers want us to be-at the office, in meetings, out of town, wherever-and provide information when they need it so they can act on it," said Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo's Wholesale Services Group. "Our business customers need to make decisions instantly, instead of waiting to get back to the office or calling someone to complete a crucial transaction."
Wells Fargo's pioneering effort in mobile banking for business customers is the latest milestone in the company's history as technology trailblazer. In 1995, Wells Fargo became the first financial institution to introduce access to banking accounts on the Internet. In 2000, the company launched the Commercial Electronic Office portal, the first financial services portal for mid-sized companies and large corporations.