Sep 22, 2009
Wells Fargo took its first shot at creating envelope-free ATMs around 2002, but the technology wasn’t up to it. Optical character recognition couldn’t read the words on checks well enough, and the machines jammed too often. So the Wells Fargo IT team shelved the idea for several years.
When character recognition improved, the company took another crack at it, but it still took many iterations, working with hardware makers, to overcome the jams. The IT team had to persuade ATM makers to upgrade to faster Intel processors to provide the personalized features Wells Fargo wanted, and the company had to educate customers as to how and why they should use the new machines. Now the bank has 1,852 envelope-free ATMs in California.