8 Big Stories Transforming The Payments Landscape

The payments market is emerging as the laboratory where some of the most innovative and disruptive developments in financial services are occurring. What can banks do to capitalize on this transformation?
September 05, 2013

8. Mobile Helps Wells Fargo Displace Corporate Checks

Checks remain prevalent in commercial payments, but Wells Fargo has been able to help customers manage those checks and also adopt electronic payments through mobile.

Checks still play a significant part in the world of corporate payments, even as their use is gradually phased out to irrelevance in consumer payments. Last year more than half (57%) of business-to-business payments were made by check, according to an electronic payment survey by the Association for Financial Professionals.

Although that percentage has declined in recent years, it's still important for banks to find ways to help commercial clients better manage their checks, while also working to move them toward electronic payments to replace the cost of check processing.

Wells Fargo has been able to leverage mobile capabilities and services to further both of those ends for its corporate clients, says Secil Watson, executive VP and head of Wells Fargo's Wholesale Internet Solutions.

The number of mobile check deposits by the bank's commercial clients increased 1,293% from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of this year, according to Wells' statistics. And those checks cost less for the bank to process than branch deposits. That's a big bonus as some of these clients are depositing hundreds of checks at a time, Watson notes.

"They use mobile check deposit in their personal lives, and now they realize they can use it in the office as well," she relates.

While mobile check deposit helps Wells Fargo and its clients manage and process a large number of checks, it also supports electronic payments types, such as wire transfers and commercial cards, that are slowly replacing checks, Watson adds. Commercial wire transfers from the mobile channel increased 150% from 2011 to 2012, and more than 30% of Wells' commercial card customers use mobile to manage their credit accounts. — J.C.

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