Consumer Finance

Wells Fargo Authentication Focus ​

As banks host accelerators, incubators and hackathons to collect fresh thinking from startups, Wells Fargo has developed a Digital Innovation Lab to do its own testing on promising technologies — and a major theme of its work is authentication, according to American Banker.

One near-term possibility that Wells is experimenting with is improving drive-through banking by eliminating the need for customers to send their driver’s licenses in pneumatic tubes so tellers can make visual IDs. To improve this decades-old customer experience, Wells is testing the ability to let customers pre-order transactions with mobile phones. A customer would schedule a cash withdrawal on a smartphone before entering the drive-through and the banking app would spit out a passcode that would serve as identification. The bank could set up time limits for the code, said Sivesh Thangarajah, a project manager at the lab.

Wireless beacons are another technology that Wells is testing in the lab. With beacon support integrated into a banking app, customers who opt in would launch the mobile app, take a headshot and specify their reason for visiting the branch. The beacons would alert branch greeters when the customers walk through the door and flash data about who they and why they’ve come to the branch.

The bank is also exploring the idea of letting bankers wear Google Glass devices so they can better identify customers coming into a branch.

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