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Greenhouse by Wells Fargo is a new app the bank is gearing up to launch next year, designed to boost a user’s level of financial health. The app is a combination of personal finance management tools and Wells Fargo banking capabilities. What does this mean in terms of practical abilities? People will be able to do everything from paying their bills to saving money via the app.
Greenhouse by Wells Fargo will also use artificial intelligence to give users access to personalized insights into their finances, so they will know where they are at with their finances. They will be rolling out a limited, national pilot program during the first quart of next year, with a launch of the app for iPhone users coming at some point during the first six months of 2018.
“We believe the Greenhouse experience will appeal to a broad base of consumers, many of whom have several income sources or are paid infrequently, which can make budgeting a challenge,” said Avid Modjtabai, head of Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation at Wells Fargo, while onstage at The BancAnalysts Association of Boston Conference in Boston.
“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,” he said.
The inside story
What will people be able to do with this app? They will be able to engage in intuitive money management, by using two accounts – one that is connected to their debit card and is used for weekly spending, and another account that is used just for savings and to make bill payments.
With the savings and bill payment account, they will be able to allocate money to be used to pay bills, including their rent and phone bill. And they will also be able to begin building up their savings so they have a cushion.
The app connects both accounts and gives the user a wide range of information, including:
• Spending trend visualizations
• Personalized insights
• Key financial reminders
People will also be able to send payments via Zelle, a peer-to-peer payments network, as well as use the network to receive payments. There are no overdraft fees to deal with when using the app, and payments and purchases that would overdraw the account would not be processed.
Financial health matters
Wells Fargo points to research showing that financial health is an issue for many Americans, with 57% reporting that they are struggling with their finances. They also found that 44% of people said that if they had an emergency expense of $400, they could not come up with the money. In order to pay that expense, they would have to borrow the money or sell something.