CNNMoney reports that the bank’s app will offer a new feature that allows users to request an eight-digit access code on their smartphones. Customers can then enter the codes, as well as their regular ATM PIN numbers, at the kiosk to make a transaction.
Wells Fargo plans to make the mobile option available at all of its 13,000 ATMs, according to CNN. A spokesperson for the company said the move would be a “game changer” because it would make Wells Fargo the first bank to make all of its machines go cardless.
Some industry professionals don’t quite see the value in the new cardless service, however. CNN cited a sales executive for the ATM manufacturer Genmega, Wes Dunn, as one skeptic.
"Getting out a piece of plastic and inserting it is not so terribly difficult, so outside of being trendy and cool, I fail to see the benefit to the cardholder themselves," he told the network.
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The move comes as Wells Fargo tries to repair a badly bruised reputation. The bank's public image has suffered in the past year, from being ordered to pay some $185 million in fines and restitution after the discovery of millions of accounts opened without customer authorization. The false accounts were reportedly linked to highly competitive sales goals for branch bankers, forcing Wells Fargo’s former CEO John Stumpf to resign after significant public outcry.
The bank has also had to face mounting opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project Wells Fargo is invested in that has generated national controversy.
Reuters reports that Wells Fargo has unveiled a new compensation plan for its branch employees in an effort to ease pressure on sellers. The new payment scheme will reportedly incentivize customer service over sales volume.
"This new plan is one step in our efforts to restore trust with team members and customers, and we will continue to make additional changes," the company said in an internal document cited by Reuters.