Wells Fargo's online banking customers can now use just one key to open many doors, with the launch of Wells OneLook. The free account aggregation service allows users to access multiple accounts, including those from competing financial institutions, through a single sign-on and password.
According to some analysts, banks have been slow to jump on the aggregation bandwagon because they don't want to display competitor's products. But Pamela Reed, vice president, consumer Internet services at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, said that wasn't a concern. "For the sake of convenience and saving time, customers want to view all of their financial and personal accounts in one secure location," she explained.
Available via Wells Fargo Online-the bank's gateway to customer financial information-Wells OneLook provides instant access to more than 3,000 pages of value-added content, tools and calculators and online applications.
The OneLook service, launched in mid-February, uses technology from aggregator Yodlee to connect 2.6 million Wells Fargo customers online to current balances and last transactions for checking, savings, money market, investments, credit cards, bills and personal accounts like online travel rewards and e-mail.
The aggregated data is hosted on servers at Wells Fargo. The Yodlee product was upgraded to bring it up to Wells' standards for security and privacy, said Reed.
"Wells Fargo has a long history of safeguarding customer data, online and offline," she said. "We leverage partnerships with best-in-class technology companies such as Yodlee to bring the products and services most desired by our current and potential customers to market with Wells Fargo quality and security standards."
In addition, Yodlee's product was also retooled to enable more frequent updates of data in aggregated accounts, providing for automatic refresh of account information at each sign in.
Wells Fargo hopes that the new service, which is free of charge, will cause customers to stick with the financial services company for the long haul. "Wells OneLook helps us continue to serve customer needs by providing a consolidated financial view for them to use to make smart financial decisions as their financial futures evolve," Reed said. "This will help us retain them as Wells Fargo customers and help ensure that when those future financial needs arise, we will be readily accessible for them with the research and products they may need, at any time."