San Francisco-based Wells Fargo reached a milestone of sorts this week, as the bank announced that its customers have now completed more than one billion paperless transactions at its ATMs since 2009.
Upon concluding an ATM transaction, Wells Fargo's online banking customers have the option to forego a paper receipt to instead select an e-receipt to be sent to an online banking inbox, a designated personal e-mail account, or a mobile phone number. Forty-six percent of receipt-eligible transactions today result in either an e-receipt or a customer selecting no receipt, Wells Fargo said.
According to Alicia Moore, head of Wells Fargo ATM Banking, this is only part of the bank's overall paperless initiative. For example, customers in branches can select an e-receipt or a no-receipt option similar to the ATM experience, she says.
"As a company, we are working to protect natural resources and the environment," Moore relates. "This means taking action in our own communities but also creating change within Wells Fargo. We know there is a demand for more sustainable banking options as well as more convenience. Technology allows us to be more innovative in how we bring these services to customers, as well as the time to market. While I can’t speak to the future, we will continue down the path of bringing multiple options that serve the needs of our customers."
Moore says that all 12,000 of its U.S. ATMS are enabled for paperless transactions. Wells Fargo began offering the e-mail receipt option in 2009, and the text receipt option was rolled out nationwide in June of this year.
Moore says the idea for paperless ATM transactions began to sprout internally several years ago when bank leaders saw other industries begin to experiment with e-receipts.
"That promoted us to ask “why not” within our own business," she adds. "At Wells Fargo, we write our own software for many things so there were no hardware implications for enabling a new service like paperless transactions. We worked closely with our online team – who was already sending emails to customers – so we were able to extend the feature onto the ATM network and do it quickly. We have a culture of “test, learn and evolve” at the company. We want to make sure customers have the best possible experience with us so we like to rollout new technology in pilots or phases to ensure we’re catching any possible issues and correcting them quickly."
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Moore says that Wells Fargo has no specific goal to get to all-paperless transactions at its ATMs, but simply wants to create convenience for customers and give them options. Moore notes that prior to offering the e-mail receipt option in 2009, customers were selecting the no-print option at the ATM about 14% of the time.
"Four years later, about 32% of eligible transactions result in the customer selecting the no-print option," she adds. "What we’re seeing is that customers like having more choices and it’s caused a change in their behavior. We are surprised and delighted at the reception and glad we’re part of that story."
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio