"When we first became introduced to this mysterious Internet system, our initial training class consisted of watching a PBS television show, What Is the Internet?" Charles Combs, Technology Manager
WFVC Contact Center

Adoption 1995

Wells Fargo launches Online Banking via Quicken® and Money for Windows®.

Wells Fargo becomes the first bank to provide secure credit card transactions on the internet for Virtual Vineyards, now Wine.com.

Windows 95, Amazon, Craigslist, eBay and Match.com all launch this year. About 1 in 10 adults uses the Internet.

The rising popularity of the internet gives us an added opportunity to help our customers bank on-the-go.

Our early website features photographs of officers and stores, and provides our customers with maps of stores and ATM locations, product information, and phone numbers to call for help or further information.

1995 Picture of Netscape Navigator Floppy Disc (Version 1.22 for Windows)
1995 Brochure about Wells Fargo Online through Prodigy

Internet banking appears to be just for early adopters, but Wells Fargo blazes a new trail, and is the first U.S. bank to add account services to its website.

1995 Brochure about Wells Fargo through Microsoft Money

With online banking, Wells Fargo gives the promise of more time for the important things in life...

"At the time, there were two HTML page coders that sat at 455 Market St., who built the pages that made up online banking. Every Wednesday, we'd attend the weekly status meeting and the entire OLB (Online Banking) group could fit into one conference room." (Today, we have more than 12,000 team members.) Sheridan Young, Analytic Manager
WFVC Strategy and Analysis

Innovation 1996

Internet banking offers:

  • Free unlimited online access to accounts
  • The ability to pay bills online (for $5 a month)
  • Banking, investing, bill pay by phone
  • Access to financial news
  • Online brokerage — trade stocks, bonds, options, and mutual funds
  • An improved interface, in which customers can view all their account balances on a single screen
  • The ability to integrate account information with personal finance software such as Microsoft Money and Intuit's Quicken
  • Banking through Prodigy

To apply, customers must submit a voided check and then they receive the software.

1996 Brochure on Online Banking
1996 Brochure about Wells Fargo through Microsoft Money

Wells Fargo launches "Pay Anyone Bill Payment Service," the ability to pay bills online and send payments to any merchant or individual in the country.

"I remember hearing of a customer who had received something indicating that if she signed up for Online Banking, she'd get everything she needed to do her banking online. She enrolled, and two weeks later, called back to find out when she would be receiving her computer! I guess she took 'everything' to include a computer." J.Kelly Ward, Technical Writer
WFVC Contact Centers

Security 1997

People are generally hesitant to use online banking.

Many don't trust its security features. To help ease the minds of its customers, Wells Fargo establishes its online security guarantee — a promise that will remain consistent through time.

1997 Secure Delivery Wells Fargo Online®

In this year, Wells Fargo launches Internet Import Letters of Credit, providing importers the ability to apply for letters of credit over the internet.

Customers now bank on their TVs with Wells Fargo and WebTV.

1997 Quick Reference Card for Wells Fargo Online®

In addition, the site offers security measures such as:

  • Bank-approved secure browsers
  • Individual password
  • Timed log-off
  • Encryption and segmented data packets
1997 WF Online AOL postcard cropped

"There were no regulations that directly addressed 'Internet Banking.' We managed compliance through the existing ATM regulations at the time. The laws evolved as the channel grew." Ed Wells, Senior Product Manager
WFVC Strategy and Analysis

The Promise of Convenience 1998

Will it work?

Can customers actually manage their money online? Wells Fargo sends its customers floppy disks and instructions on how to install the software that would allow them to access accounts, make transfers, and pay bills — all from their computers.

1999 Annual Report article on delivery channels

Wells Fargo performs 22 million internet transactions — two-times the amount of any other bank.

1999

Wells Fargo welcomes its 1-millionth customer

Though less than 0.4% of households in the U.S. are using online banking at the end of 1999, this is the year that Wells Fargo welcomes its 1-millionth online banking customer.

1999 Brochure about wellsfargo.com

Wholesale Banking launches the CEO® (Commerical Electronic Access) portal, the first comprehensive internet portal for commercial banking customers. It provides instant online access to dozens of financial services.

The company becomes the first financial services institution to allow opening and funding of IRAs online.

1998 Brochure about Y2K

In June, the bank increases its footprint by merging with Norwest, bringing together leading banking companies from the Midwest and West Coast.

Read about the history of Norwest Western National Bank in a blog post by Terry Keir, an interpreter at the Wells Fargo History Museum in Minneapolis.

2000 Brochure about investing

2000

WellsFargo.com survives the
Y2K scare

The final months leading up to 2000 are times of change for Wells Fargo. In addition to wrapping up Norwest and Wells Fargo merger activities, the company is preparing for Y2K, identifying and resolving date-related glitches. It seems every financial services company is working overtime to reassure customers that their accounts will survive the New Year.

When the fateful day arrives, the world keeps turning. Although some glitches occur, for the most part, life carries on as usual. Read about Wells Fargo and the Y2K scare in a story written by Wells Fargo archivist Aubrey Carrier.

With the increasing popularity of
e-commerce, the idea slowly begins to catch on. By 2000, 80% of U.S. banks offer online banking.

Wells Fargo joins forces with eBay to create the standard for person-to-person payment on the internet, later called Billpoint.

"Paper, paper, paper everywhere! When we first launched business online banking (BOB) in 1999 all applications were taken on paper. They were multiple page applications and we had stacks of paper everywhere." (Check out our Environmental Forum to see the ways we reduce paper today.) Sue Fisi, E-Business Systems Consulting Manager
WFVC Contact Centers

Appeal and Anticipation 2001

By 2001, Wells Fargo has 2.5 million online banking customers, including small businesses.

Wells Fargo launches the Wells Fargo Resource Center for Small Business Owners, the first integrated online destination for small businesses.

Wells Fargo becomes the first major financial services company to offer stock investments in regular dollar amounts with Wells ShareBuilder.

The "Banking on Our Future" program launches, which is aimed at teaching kids and adults basic financial skills. In a few years, it's renamed "Hands on Banking."

2002

More and more people are drawn to online banking.

2002 Postcard to try Online Pay

Wells Fargo wins BusinessWeek's Web Smart Award for Customization

This year, Wells Fargo is the only U.S. financial institution to have web collaboration or live help available to its customers online.

2001 Picture of the wellsfargo.com bus

The WellsFargo.com bus rolls out for the first time, providing mobile customer education and employee training on internet banking. Stretching 45 feet (13 meters) in length and weighing 26 tons (23.4 metric tons), the custom built bus features business-grade broadband satellite internet access.

Wells Fargo becomes the payment provider to PayPal, providing secure online payment-processing services.

Wells Fargo also launches Servicios En Español — online services in Spanish.

More than one-third of corporate customers use the CEO® portal.

2003

Wells Fargo celebrates 5 million active online banking customers.

2003 Brochure about the convenience of Online Banking with Bill Pay

"Most people, customers, and team members alike were very skeptical about using online banking. I recall having a huge celebration party when we hit 1 million customers. That quickly grew to five million. Then, we stopped counting, since we couldn't keep up." Denise Thomas, Resolution Manager
WFVC Executive Services & Communications

2004

By 2004, some 33 million U.S. households (31% of the market) are using one form or another of online banking.

It's also the year the nation is introduced to Facebook.

2004 Graph of active online banking users
Active Online Banking Customers millions

Wells Fargo online customer-to-customer transfers make it quick and easy to send money to friends and family.

Wells Fargo announces upgrades to its online security platform, providing even more protection in the fight against internet fraud.

2007

Wells Fargo reaches 10 million online banking customers and launches Mobile Banking. It's the first major financial services company in the U.S. to offer consumers and small businesses both mobile website and text-based account access via mobile devices.

2007 Screenshot of text banking on a Razor phone

2005

Wells Fargo launches My Spending Report, the industry's first all-in-one personal spending snapshot via the internet. This free online money management tool enables our customers to track spending by category, so they can find ways to spend less.

2005 screenshot of My Spending Report

2006

2006 screenshot of the Wells Fargo home page

The company sets an online strategy of giving customers a choice in how they work with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo introduces the CEO Mobile® service, and becomes the first major financial services company in the U.S. to offer mobile banking to commercial, corporate, and institutional customers.

"One customer couldn't access the internet, so I asked him where he was trying to connect from, and he said he was at work. I said, 'That may explain your challenge, since many offices have firewalls that will prevent this.' He said, 'No, I'm pretty sure all the walls here are stucco.' " Charles Combs, Technology Manager
WFVC Contact Centers

2008

2008 picture of Jim Smith showing V-Safe in a vault with laptop computer

With the introduction of vSafe® service, Wells Fargo becomes the first to offer retail banking customers secure online storage.

2010

Wells Fargo becomes the first major financial services company in the U.S. to offer text banking to all of its customers.

Mobile Deposit launches — allowing customers to deposit directly from their smartphones.

2010 Screet shot of the home page

Wells Fargo named "Best Consumer Internet Bank" and "Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank" in North America by Global Finance magazine.

By September, Wells Fargo has 19 million active online customers and 6 million active mobile customers.

Commerical card expense reporting releases through CEO Mobile® allowing cardholders to add out-of-pocket expenses, view charges, and check available credit using their smartphones.

CEO Mobile® Deposit service releases through the CEO Mobile iPhone app.

Wells Fargo extends its Foreign Exchange Online service to small businesses.

2009

Wells Fargo merges with Wachovia, which results in our serving 1 in 3 American households. The biggest online integration in financial services history begins.

Meanwhile, a 2009 report by Gartner Group estimates that 47% of U.S. adults bank online.

2009 Screenshot of two mobile devices

The company announces the availability of its mobile banking app via the App Store on iPhone® or iPod® Touch.

Wells Fargo customers save 100,000 trees thanks to online banking and envelope-free ATMs.

To honor its customers who have chosen to turn off paper statements, the company contributes $30,000 to the Arbor Day Foundation.

By November 2010, Wells Fargo has nearly 18 million active online customers and 4 million active mobile customers.

2011

2011 Screenshot of the Fraud Information Center

Wells Fargo offers online and mobile fraud prevention tips on its website.

The company ranks first on Keynote Mobile Banking Scorecard for its mobile web banking and text banking, as well as its BlackBerry app.

"When I first joined the team in 2007, it felt like we were an 'internet' group who worked for a bank and our value wasn't yet fully realized. We've grown to be an integral part of Wells Fargo that's depended on to drive significant customer and enterprise value." Ken Dennett, Digital Marketing Manager
WFVC Digital Sales & Marketing

2012

The Business Credit Center launches as a free online resource offering small business owners information about credit, from developing a strong application to calculating how much financing a business needs.

2012 Screenshot of email marketing campaign for online and mobile banking features
2012 Screenshot of the Business Credit Center

Wells Fargo releases the Spanish version of Online Banking.

"I have a button on my cube wall that reads, 'Balances on the internet. You did it first so we could be 1st. Thanks for making history.'" Jerry Guinn, Systems Architect (DCT)
Technology & Operations Group

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach

The stagecoach supports our brand promise of "Working together." Used in combination with our corporate signature, "Together we'll go far," it communicates Wells Fargo's rich history, our promise to work together with customers now and over time, and our pillars of Relationship and Guidance. Together, they provide reassurance at transactional moments of truth, including account opening and signing on online.

Wells Fargo brand photography has always portrayed our beloved stagecoach as moving forward, from left to right. This direction is purposeful, since we strive to work together with our customers, guiding and moving them forward on their financial journeys.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach

"We already had telephone bill pay, then we added it to online banking. I wasn't sure this was a good idea, luckily someone else did. Now hardly anyone uses checks. We changed the world." Beki Hull, Research/Remediation Analyst
WFVC Executive Services & Communications

2013

Wells Fargo and Softcard agree

to allow Visa cardholders to load their account numbers into a Softcard mobile wallet app. This enables customers to pay for transactions using their smartphones.

2013 Screenshot of the Wells Fargo Works information page

Customers at more than 12,000 ATMs have the option of receiving text receipts of their transactions.

My Retirement Plan offers visitors a tailored, realistic savings goal.

A version of Hands on Banking® launches for military customers and their families.

2013 Screenshot of How My Retirement Plan tool works

Social media fans help pick the 2014 Wells Fargo Plush Pony during "Pony Week." Twitter and Facebook followers choose from El Toro, Mike, Strawberry, and Promotion. Fans visit the Wells Fargo YouTube channel to learn more about each pony, ultimately choosing El Toro as the winner.

"When I look back... we had a lot of people willing to support each other to give the customers the very best online experience." Val Batiste, Information Security Manager, Cyber Threat Intelligence Team
CTM EIS Technology and Operations, Corporate Risk

Optimization 2014

Apple Pay is available to Wells Fargo customers, who have the ability to add their credit cards to their iPhone® devices to pay in person, without physically swiping an actual card.

2014 Screenshot of the Wells Fargo Works information page

Wells Fargo reaches 25 million online banking customers.

About 8 in 10 adults now use the internet.

Throughout the years, Wells Fargo has continued to improve interactive design, ease of use, and search engine optimization, so customers can easily find what they need.

Wells Fargo Works for Small Business, an initiative to deliver resources, guidance, and services to help small businesses achieve financial success, launches. The company also announces a goal to extend $100 billion in new lending to small businesses by 2018.

2014 Screenshot of email marketing campaign for low balance alerts

Wells Fargo business banking customers mark $1 billion in mobile deposits through the CEO Mobile Deposit service.

"Probably the best part for me is working with some of the best people who truly want to provide the customer with the best experience ever. The hard work and dedication to making the customer experience a better one with Wells Fargo is impressive." Maria Andrews, Capital Market Credit Risk Tech Portfolio Project Manager
Consumer Lending Technology PMO, Technology & Operations Group

Consistency 2015

From Day 1, Wells Fargo has maintained our online security guarantee and commitment to our customers. Our vision: "We want to satisfy all our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially."

Wells Fargo announces an update to its mobile banking phone app that provides our customers the option of selecting Spanish as their perferred language. For every customer who changes the language setting to Spanish, Wells Fargo donates $1 in support of Latino scholarships.

Get College ReadySM, an interactive website that offers a holistic approach to financial education and literacy, launches.

The Path to Good Credit website goes live.

Screen shot of the current home page since 2013

"I have become a part of a vision, which I value and take pride in everyday as a team member of Wells Fargo. Throughout the years I have had the ability to learn about the financial industry, work on self-development, and learn how to be a part of a family, not just a workplace." Jennifer Suarez, Online Customer Service Representative
WFVC Contact Centers