Wells Fargo Accounts for Major Portion of Debit / Prepaid Card Use

May 9, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

The last several months might best be described as “disastrous” for Wells Fargo, and with good reason. With artificial accounts creation reports plaguing the company, along with the loss of a major account with the City of Philadelphia—it was handling the city's payroll operations which has now moved to Citizens Bank—it's been a bad run for Wells Fargo. There's some good news afoot, though, as a new report from the company noted that its customers comprise the largest bloc of debit and prepaid card users out there.

Word from the Nilson Report from the close of 2016 revealed that Wells Fargo debit and prepaid card users accounted for over $306 billion in purchased goods and services just in 2016. Though debit card use overall is up across the industry—hitting nearly $1.7 trillion in 2016 alone—it's clear that Wells Fargo customers are a big part of this operation.

This news comes at a good time for Wells Fargo, especially as it's been working on the newest version of its mobile payments operation. Back in February, Wells Fargo noted it had rebuilt its Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation group into a group with a greater focus on payments systems.

Wells Fargo's head of Treasury, Merchant & Payment Solutions Danny Peltz noted “The changing face of payments plays an important role in the lives of consumers, small businesses, and commercial and corporate banking customers. By listening to our customers and investing in treasury management and payment tools, we are helping individuals and businesses make the most of faster, electronic payment options through the platforms, brands and devices that they already use.”

Good news for Wells Fargo for a change, especially in the face of recent negative events. Though this news is somewhat tainted in the face of all the previous announcements—how many are wondering, right now, how much of Wells Fargo's debit and prepaid card business is somehow fake or otherwise dishonestly come into—it's still good enough to give it an edge in the market. There's a lot weighing against Wells Fargo right now, but it's certainly pulling as hard as it can to get out from under such troubles.