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Wells Fargo - The Online Experience

Navigating the Online Banking Options at Wells Fargo

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Wells Fargo maintains a website with loads of content, user friendly navigation and all the bells and whistles we've come to expect from big banks. But aside from the standard offerings, Wells has made a few tweaks to the standard online banking offerings. With the added features, the Wells Fargo online banking experience has more pros than cons.

Though Wells Fargo remains an old, established financial institution, it has embraced the twenty-first century by offering its clients first-class online products and the ability to do the majority of their banking and financial transactions via the web.

Site Layout

When first landing on the Wells Fargo home page, a great deal of information and a variety of links appear in trademark orange and gold. The website is broken down into sections to make it easier to navigate. There are a variety of different links inside in each section. Despite a user friendly layout, the overwhelming amount of information can be time consuming to sift through. When clicking on the links, some of the web pages were slow to load, which may be an issue for some users. Some of the marketing can be overkill, but overall the site is very direct. Outlines on account offerings are concise and to the point.

Options for Online Banking

Wells Fargo allows consumers to set up and fund new checking accounts online, an added convenience. What’s not so convenient are the intermittent ads that appear before clicking to continue an application.

Once you have an account, you can sign in and view your various accounts and investments at any time from the comfort of your own home. There is a complete section on how your personal information and privacy is protected, which is nice, and tabs that show historical statements and transactions.

An added benefit of Wells Fargo’s online system is automatic bill pay, which makes paying those annoying monthly bills less of a hassle. Customer service options include telephone, e-mail support, mail service, and a large database of help topics. The Wells Fargo website is reasonably easy to navigate with plenty of information and a wealth of options. Some of the information is extraneous, but the site gets a thumbs up for ease of use and the amount of information it contains. If you already have a Wells Fargo account, utilizing the resources on this site would be a simple way to manage your accounts and pay your bills.

Improvements to Standard Online Fare

A nice feature offered by Wells is a custom tailored spending report along with a budget tracker. While many banks offer transaction history, this turns the fine print transactions into visual data that’s much more helpful. Customers get an overall picture of where money is going each month, and how it compares to their proposed budget. Seeing all those Starbucks charges in graphical form makes them much harder to ignore than skimming through bank statements each month. This can be a great tool to help people get control of their spending and stay on budget. The tool only applies to accounts at Wells, but if you mainly pay bills from one checking account, it’s a valuable resource.

Cons of Expanded Online Services

Online systems are well and good...until there's a problem and you need to talk to a real person. Of course, like many big banks, getting to a live operator from Wells Fargo may take some effort and patience. A lot of patience. The customer service lines are open 24/7, however, which is more convenient for those who call outside of standard business hours. In fact, calling outside those hours will probably end up with a much shorter wait in the queue.

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