A Look at Wells Fargo’s Plans for Mobile Payments

October 2, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Recently, Wells Fargo’s executive vice president for cards and retail services, Beverly Anderson, hit the stage at the PayThink event to reveal some of Wells Fargo’s plans for mobile payments in the near future. While Anderson didn’t reveal all the plans—she only took about a minute in their introduction—what she revealed was enough to get mobile payments industry followers thinking.

Anderson revealed a future plan for Wells Fargo that focused on interconnectivity, primarily between several of its key systems. Control Tower, for example, will “…live in the mobile banking app,” allowing consumers  to check where their credentials are currently located and offering the option to activate or deactivate them as they see fit.

Greenhouse, meanwhile, will operate much differently, operating on its own, but, as Anderson put it “…still powered by Wells Fargo.” Greenhouse is poised to run in a “very different” fashion from the standard Wells Fargo app, yet in a fashion that customers are set to be “very excited” about.

The real winner, however, is “Pay By Wells Fargo,” a concept which may or may not—Anderson advised listeners to “stay tuned”—unify all of these tools together under one banner.

Of course, there’s a lot left unsaid in this particular foray. Quite a lot indeed; for example, if Pay By Wells Fargo is planning to bring the tools from Greenhouse and Control Tower together, then what’s the point of offering them separately? Were these just prototypes? Are they just test subjects to see what draws customer interest and what doesn’t? We know that Wells Fargo has been testing Pay With Wells Fargo (the difference between Pay By and Pay With might be attributable to a misstep on Anderson’s part) since May, so perhaps we’re about to see a larger rollout?

We know that Wells Fargo’s second quarter earnings were a substantial disappointment—even Wells Fargo released commercials that called out its own misdealings as part of a larger campaign called “Re-Established”—and so it may be pushing mobile payments and operations as a means to recover from the chicanery seen last year. Still, it’s clear that Wells Fargo has plans for the future, and we’ll have to wait and see how far they go.