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Wells Fargo Launches New Checking Account With No Minimum Balances or Overdraft Fees

By Eric Volkman – Sep 2, 2020 at 5:16PM

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It comes on the heels of similar rollouts from rival lenders.

Wells Fargo (WFC 0.68%) is making a play for cost-conscious banking consumers. The bank announced that it has rolled out a new type of account, Clear Access Banking, that boasts low costs and limited fees.

Clear Access Banking is a checking account that carries no account minimum, and incurs no overdraft or insufficient funds fees. It does have a monthly charge ($5.00), but this is waived for account holders ages 13 to 24.

It comes with a contactless debit card, which the bank says can be used in over 13,000 ATMs around the U.S. Account holders can access Clear Access Banking by digital means (online and mobile) and over the phone.

The front of a Wells Fargo branch.

Image source: Wells Fargo.

The new account type is part of a broader effort aimed at simplifying and streamlining Wells Fargo's selection of basic products. More specifically, the bank said, "[i]t is designed for consumers seeking an account to help manage their spending, or who are new to banking, such as young adults."

It'll also be seen as an effort by the bank to keep pace with rivals that have introduced similar "skinny" account types recently.

These launches come in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has badly affected the finances of a great many people and sent them scrambling for lower-cost alternatives to many traditional products and services. They also follow years of criticism from many parties about oppressive banking fees.

Investors seem to be signaling approval for this initiative on the part of the bank. On Wednesday, they bid Wells Fargo's shares 2.2% higher, a level that exceeded the growth of the S&P 500 index on the day.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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