Digital Banking

Wells Fargo Shuts Millennial-Friendly App ‘Greenhouse’ To New Clients

Wells Fargo Shuts Millennial-Friendly App ‘Greenhouse’ To New Clients

Wells Fargo has quietly stopped accepting new users for its Greenhouse mobile-first banking app, which the bank unveiled less than three years ago.

“The enrollment period for the Greenhouse mobile banking program has ended, and we’re no longer accepting new applications,” the company wrote on the Greenhouse program’s website.

"At this time, we are no longer taking applications for new Greenhouse by Wells Fargo accounts as we pause to evaluate the pilot learnings and plan for future product development,” Roger Cabrera, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo, told PYMNTS by email. “Existing Greenhouse by Wells Fargo customers can continue to manage their finances through the Greenhouse app.”

Wells Fargo did not provide further details.

Wells Fargo appeared to aim Greenhouse at younger consumers or others with little traditional banking involvement when the bank unveiled the app in 2017. Avid Modjtabai, Wells Fargo’s head of Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation, said at the time that “whether you are new to banking, don’t have regular paychecks or typically manage money with cash, we believe the Greenhouse experience can help you manage day-to-day spending while planning for the future.”

Greenhouse allows users to deposit money into a “Set Aside Account” that they can use to pay their bills. Users can also choose how much to deposit in their “Spending Account,” which is connected to a debit card that they can use for everyday purchases.

The Greenhouse website notes the debit card is “linked to your Spending Account as the primary account for ATM access and purchases, and to your Set Aside Account as the secondary account for ATM access.”

The service also provides reminders of due dates and allows users to pay bills from within the app. Moreover, users can choose to create a weekly spending limit with the service.

Millennial-Banking Apps Are Struggling

Wells Fargo isn’t the only bank to scale back on apps that appear aimed at younger users.

For instance, J.P. Morgan Chase reportedly began telling customers in June 2019 that it was closing Finn, an app designed to reach younger clients. The bank reportedly moved Finn users’ funds to other Chase accounts.

Such moves come even as banks are adding digital offerings — particularly mobile ones — to their lineup as brick-and-mortar branches decline. The Finn program had been seen as a “hybrid” offering, as it revolved around a digital app but also provided branch access.

Chase’s decision to shut down Finn and Wells Fargo’s move to stop adding users for Greenhouse raises the question as to whether there’s really demand from millennials for apps that are separate from a bank’s main offerings. If there isn’t, look for more banks to discontinue their millennial-focused apps.

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The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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