Wells Fargo will launch its own mobile wallet for Android users by the end of the summer.
Photograph by Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
By Laura Lorenzetti
May 24, 2016

Wells Fargo announced the upcoming launch of its own mobile pay service Tuesday, taking on the likes of Apple and Google at the point of purchase.

The new Wells Fargo Wallet will launch later this summer and will be integrated into the existing Wells Fargo (WFC) mobile app experience for Android users. Any eligible Wells Fargo debit or credit card will connect through the new mobile wallet system to work with millions of NFC-enabled payment terminals around the world. It will even allow users to conduct ATM transactions without need a physical debit or ATM card at one of Wells Fargo’s NFC-enabled kiosks. The company said that more than 40% of its ATMs will work with NFC technology by the end of 2016.

The new feature was built in-house and was designed to create a holistic banking experience from purchasing to tracking. It’s designed to go head-to-head with a number of mobile wallets already on the market, including one launched by rival J.P. MorganChase (JPM) last year.

“We’re looking to reimagine customer interactions with money in and across channels, and designing our own Wells Fargo Wallet allows us to further engage our customers, and innovate for the future,” Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group, said in a statement. “Continuous innovation enables Wells Fargo to save customers time and money, reduce fraud, and drive loyalty. With mobile ubiquitous in today’s world, innovation around mobile will continue to be a key area of focus.”

The company’s proprietary wallet essentially creates a system that routes Google’s (GOOG) Android users around other systems like Android Pay, which would provide Wells Fargo with better data on how its members are using mobile payments. Customers will still be able to opt to use Android Pay or other third-party mobile wallets. (Wells Fargo Wallet won’t be available on any Apple (AAPL) iPhones since the technology giant sets strict limits on outside use of its platform.)

Regardless of platform, about 28% of smartphone owners reported making a purchase with a mobile phone in the last 12 months, and about 2.8 million Wells Fargo customers currently use the company’s cards within third-party mobile payment apps. The bank is luring customers to its own wallet with the advantage of a seamless experience, highlighting the fact that users can check their balance before or after making a purchase without having to switch between apps.

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