Wells Fargo announced new efforts to limit overdraft-related fees and give customers more flexible options to meet their personal financial needs. These offerings, which include earlier access to direct deposits, a 24-hour grace period before incurring any overdraft fees, the elimination of several fees and a new, short-term loan, build on actions the company has taken over the past several years to improve customer experience.
“Core to Wells Fargo’s evolution is making sure we stay focused on our customers, first and foremost,” said Mary Mack, CEO of Wells Fargo Consumer and Small Business Banking. “The enhancements we’re announcing today add to changes we’ve made previously and give our customers more choice and flexibility in meeting their needs.”
The actions Wells Fargo is announcing today build on services the company has introduced over the past several years. Clear Access BankingSM, which Wells Fargo introduced in Sep. 2020, is a consumer bank account that charges no overdraft fees. It now has over 1.1 million customers. In 2017, Wells Fargo introduced its Overdraft Rewind® service, which automatically “rewinds” overdraft fees when a covering direct deposit is received by the next morning. Wells Fargo also sends more than 1.3 million balance alerts every day to help customers avoid overdrafts.
New actions announced for consumer deposit customers
Elimination of transfer fees for customers enrolled in Overdraft Protection — By the end of the first quarter, customers enrolled in Wells Fargo’s Overdraft Protection service will no longer pay a fee when funds from a linked account are used to cover transactions on the customer’s checking account.
Elimination of non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees — By the end of the first quarter, customers will no longer pay a returned item fee if Wells Fargo returns a check or electronic transaction unpaid because the customer does not have enough available funds in the deposit account to cover the payment.
Early access to direct deposits — Customers who receive eligible direct deposits will be able to access funds up to two days earlier than scheduled, minimizing the potential to incur overdrafts. The new service is expected to be available in the third quarter.
24-hour grace period — Customers who overdraw their deposit account will have 24 hours to cover the overdraft before incurring an overdraft fee. The 24-hour grace period is expected to be offered in the third quarter. Together with early access to direct deposit, the 24-hour grace period expands and replaces Wells Fargo’s existing Overdraft Rewind® service.
New easy-access, short-term credit product — To give consumers another option to meet personal financial needs, such as paying a bill or making a small purchase, Wells Fargo will offer qualifying customers a new, short-term loan of up to $500. The loan and an upfront flat fee will be repaid through monthly installments. This new product is expected to be offered by the end of 2022.
“The changes Wells Fargo is announcing are important steps in helping consumers manage their finances. The changes increase choices and flexibility, and as a result, will bring more people into the mainstream banking system and away from higher-cost options outside of it,” said Marc H. Morial, President of the National Urban League and member of Wells Fargo’s Banking Inclusion Initiative Task Force.
“Today’s changes are meant to improve our customers’ experience with Wells Fargo and make it easier for them to manage their bank accounts,” Mary Mack said. “Embedding the customer perspective directly into our decision-making has been a consistent focus for Wells Fargo over the past several years. As a company, we’ve made changes to products and services, we launched the Office of Consumer Practices one year ago, and we will continue to maintain this focus as our company’s transformation continues.”