Wells Fargo & Co looks to emerge from scandal

David Oliver

Wells Fargo & Co (ticker: WFC) is spearheading two efforts in the wake of the bank and credit card fraud scandal that roiled the company in 2016: a new branch worker compensation plan and debit card-free ATMs.

The company wants to bolster its reputation after it created millions of fake bank and credit card accounts, resulting in a large scandal for an otherwise well-regarded company and $185 million in fines. It also led to CEO John Stumpf's resignation last October.

SEE ALSO: What percent of Wells Fargo customers are closing their accounts?

An internal document provided to Reuters says the new plan will feature customer service incentives instead of sales goals, in addition to more sales activity vigilance.

"This new plan is one step in our efforts to restore trust with team members and customers, and we will continue to make additional changes," Mary Eshet, a bank spokeswoman, told Reuters in an e-mail.

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As for the ATM process, consumers would access the Wells Fargo app on their phone and ask for an eight-digit access code, reports CNN Money. They would then provide this code, plus the standard ATM code, at a typical kiosk to unlock their funds. The company, which has 13,000 ATMS, anticipates it will be the first bank to update all its ATMs to this format.

According to CNN Money, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is piloting a card-free choice in several states, while Bank of America Corp. (BAC) gives consumers the options at half of its ATMs and is looking to shift them all this way.

But is this way necessarily easier for consumers? Wes Dunn, senior vice president of sales for ATM manufacturer Genmega, told CNN Money, "Getting out a piece of plastic and inserting it is not so terribly difficult, so outside of being trendy and cool, I fail to see the benefit to the cardholder themselves."

RELATED: Wells Fargo's CEO and other executives who got the golden ax

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