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Wells Fargo and Visa Rollout Rapid Alerts For Credit Cardholders



Text message alerts offer near real-time warning of potentially fraudulent activity SAN FRANCISCO, March 23, 2010 – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and Visa Inc.  (NYSE:V) today announced the rollout of Rapid Alerts for Wells Fargo Visa credit cardholders. The free service allows consumers to better manage and track their spending while providing them with near real-time detection of potentially fraudulent activity. Rapid Alerts by Wells Fargo are enabled by Visa’s transaction alerts platform.  Alerts are sent on behalf of Wells Fargo directly from VisaNet, Visa’s global processing network, typically within seconds of a transaction occurring. Rapid Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria previously selected by the Wells Fargo Visa account holder and delivered via text message or e-mail. Rapid Alerts let consumers monitor their Wells Fargo Visa credit card account activity and take immediate action if they believe a potentially fraudulent transaction is taking place. “We believe Rapid Alerts will give customers added peace of mind that they will be notified almost immediately when transactions occur,” said Peter Ho, product manager for Wells Fargo Card Services and Consumer Lending. “We piloted Rapid Alerts in 2009 and received an overwhelming positive response from participants who said text alerts were an invaluable tool for monitoring their accounts. We want to help our customers succeed financially, and this is just one more tool to help them get there.” Rapid Alert messages contain the amount, time and date of the transaction, as well as currency conversion and information relating to the merchant, such as name and location.  Rapid Alert messages help customers track their spending and better manage their finances.  Customers also will be alerted to Wells Fargo Visa credit card payments that are declined, which may also help remind customers of recurring payments that they forgot to update due to a reissued, lost or stolen card. “Visa is empowering cardholders to take an active role in managing and protecting their Visa accounts,” said Jim McCarthy, global head of product at Visa Inc.  “Visa’s ability to analyze transactions 'in-flight' enables us to provide our cardholders with near real-time transaction alerts. Participating Visa cardholders can typically receive alerts before they walk out of the store, rather than hours or even days later.” Wells Fargo credit card customers can learn more and sign up for the service at rapidalerts.wellsfargo.com. They will be able to choose the kinds of transactions for which they wish to receive alerts. Criteria for transaction alerts that cardholders may choose include:
  • Transactions that exceed a dollar amount chosen by the cardholder
  • Transactions initiated internationally
  • Card-not-present transactions, such as purchases made online or by telephone
  • Cash withdrawals from an ATM machine
  • Declined transactions
  • Gasoline transactions
“The most effective financial alerts deliver the right information at the right time – which typically is right away,” said Mark Schwanhausser, senior analyst for multichannel financial services for Javelin Strategy & Research. “Consumers hunger for real-time alerts and mobile banking features that give them the confidence that they are in control of their money -- anytime, anywhere they happen to roam.” Wells Fargo has a tradition of helping consumers manage their finances and protect themselves against fraud and, if necessary, resolve it. Wells Fargo is a founding member of ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center. In addition, Wells Fargo along with Bank of America, BB&T and JP Morgan Chase formed Early Warning Services, to help eliminate fraud in financial systems. Established as a trusted source for strategic fraud management, Early Warning Services facilitates the secure exchange of information and knowledge between organizations for the sole purpose of preventing fraud. Wells Fargo also partners with the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and law enforcement, as necessary. “In addition to the alerts, customer can rest assured that their cards are also protected by our WellsProtect program,” add Ho. “It provides cardholders with zero liability if their card is ever lost, stolen or used without authorization and the cardholder provides us with prompt notification. This means that a cardholder is automatically protected against any unauthorized transactions made at merchants, over the phone, on the Internet or at the ATM.”

About Mobile Banking In addition to receiving Rapid Alerts, Wells Fargo customers can access their accounts with Wells Fargo Mobile Banking.  Wells Fargo offers three easy ways to bank on the go including its mobile web site at WF.com; an iPhone application that can be accessed by searching for “Wells Fargo Mobile” from the iTunes App Store; and text banking. About Visa Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com. About Wells Fargo & Company Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores, over 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. ###

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