With its services for processing credit card and electronic check transactions for small businesses using the Internet, telephone and mail channels, Wells Fargo has made a big push towards servicing the small business customer.
"We felt that this was an important segment that really needs services and support," said Debra Rossi, executive vice president of business Internet services at the bank. "Wells Fargo, through the work of providing customer services for small businesses, became the number one small business bank in the United States."
They've come a long way in a short time. Two years ago, Wells Fargo built an online resource center for small businesses as part of Wellsfargo.com. "We grew that business from nothing, really, to 275,000 small business customers banking online," said Rossi. "From competitive analysis we've done, that's a 20 percent market share of small businesses doing online banking."
It's also a big share of Wells Fargo's own small business customer base. "We have 1.5 million small business customers and have about 17 percent penetration within that group for online banking," said Rossi. That's up 5 percent from a year ago.
'We were overwhelmed at the beginning, but now we're at a run rate of 2,800-3,000 a week that continue to sign up for the online banking service," said Rossi.
"Most of our customers, because of who we are, we're the trusted entity in their life," said Rossi. "They want to make sure that anything that has to do with financial services, they want to be involved with a trusted entity that'll be around for another 150 years."