Wells Fargo is expanding the availability of its LifeSync financial advice and planning tool to its almost 70 million US customers as part of the digital banking shift amid branch closures and job cuts. LifeSync combines the digital tool’s multiple functionalities with Wells Fargo advisers’ personal support, which is in line with customers’ current needs and preferences.

Prior to its release, GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey found that 93% of Wells Fargo’s US customers were already satisfied with the proactive assistance they receive from the bank with keeping to a budget. Given the high satisfaction, it is appropriate for Wells Fargo to expand on a tool already appreciated in order to gain further customer support.

The financial planning tool was first introduced in the Wells Fargo mobile banking app exclusively for Wealth & Investment Management clients back in March, in an attempt to deliver simplicity and personalisation when it comes to individuals’ financial goals. According to the bank, LifeSync can provide real-time progress on goals, track key indicators, deliver timely and relevant Wells Fargo content, and more importantly, serve as a point of connection to a financial adviser.

Wells Fargo’s decision to expand the tool’s availability now to its wider customer base is part of the industry’s digital banking shift. Similarly to its competitors, the bank has been cutting staff and closing down branches this year, and an elaborate financial planning mobile app with interactive functionalities is an appropriate fit into the wider digitalisation strategy amid reduced staff and branch accessibility.

GlobalData 2023 Financial Services Customer Survey

Notably, GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Customer Survey has found that 29% of US customers still prefer to visit a branch and receive help in person with budgeting and reviewing finances and investments.

Using a banking app for these purposes is only the third-most popular choice currently with 23%, while online banking via desktop is the most preferred option for 31% of US banking customers. In light of that, Wells Fargo was seemingly successful at acknowledging customers’ persistent preference and desire to access a human adviser, as it focused on combining a successful digital tool with the opportunity to connect with a personal adviser, providing the best of both worlds to its customers.

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Blandina Szalay is an analyst, banking & payments, GlobalData