Stay "green" away from home

By Stephanie Rico
June 21st, 2012

Luke JohnstoneThe summer travel season is a time to unplug from the real world but it doesn’t mean you have to come unplugged! With online and mobile banking, it’s easy to keep track and manage household bills and track your money on the go while feeling good about the steps you are taking to help preserve the planet you are off exploring.

With that in mind, please allow me to introduce today’s guest blogger, Luke Johnstone! As the vice president of our Product Marketing for Online Services in the Online Sales and Marketing Group, Luke criss-crosses the globe regularly, and uses online and mobile banking to stay on top of his finances while being sensitive to his environmental footprint. (—SR)

Over the course of my career, my full-time job as a banker as well as my side-job as a DJ has taken me to all corners of the world. I have had some great experiences and an opportunity to see some amazing places. But like any job that requires a lot of travel, it doesn’t leave much time to take care of the day-to-day stuff, like managing finances, which is why being able to manage my money on the go is so important.

I use Online Banking and Bill Pay almost exclusively. Not only does it mean I don’t have to order checks, buy stamps, or use paper unnecessarily, but it’s so convenient and I am constantly amazed the places I can now get access to my account.

On a recent trip to Bhutan in the Himalayas, 3 days into a 5 day trek we were camped at 8000 feet above sea level and I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t left enough money in my account to cover my credit card bill. I was amazed that I had reception on my phone and so grateful I was able to connect to mobile banking and transfer the money.

Five years ago, I would have had to wait until I was home, then make a trip to the Wells Fargo banking store or make a call to customer service. Now, I can do it all in less than two minutes – without any paper, without any emissions, and without any guilt. It made me realize just how indispensible online and mobile banking have become, and how much they contribute to improving my impact on the environment.

Luke's photos from Bhutan in the HimalayasIf you can, try these other online and mobile tools to help you manage your finances on the go and manage your environmental impact:

  • Stay organized and reduce the risk of fraud by switching to Online Statements, which help reduce the amount of paper mail waiting for you when you return home. According to a 2012 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research, an independent research firm, fraudsters continue to use traditional methods to gather information, including paper mail that may contain account numbers or other confidential information. Not only are online statements more secure, but they also add up. In fact, if every Wells Fargo customers chose online statements for one year, we could collectively conserve the equivalent of more than 4.5 million trees.*
  • Avoid missed or late payments while traveling and cut down on paper use with Bill Pay. Before leaving town, automatic bill payments can be scheduled quickly and easily through the online bill pay service. To stay on top of finances when you’re traveling for a long period of time, elect to receive eBills through the Bill Pay service.
  • Don’t wait for a paper statement to track your purchases. Remain current on account information with financial alerts sent to your email address or mobile phone number. Depending on what information you want to track, you can choose alerts for low balances, when a credit card payment is due, or a deposit is made. Wells Fargo Visa® consumer credit card customers can sign up for Rapid Alerts, which sends a text message alert to your mobile device when a credit card transaction meets certain criteria, such as when a transaction is used for an internet purchase.

When you’re traveling, how do YOU manage your finances while trying to remain “green”? Do you use online and mobile tools too?


* Based on PayItGreen’s Financial Paper Footprint calculator and 70,0000 customers turning off one paper statement each for one time and not printing at home (12/2010).

Tags:   Bhutan   Bill Pay   bills   emissions   Himalayas   Luke Johnstone   mobile   Mobile Banking   mobile device   online   Online Banking   Online Statements   paper   paperless   Rapid Alerts   statements   summer   travel   
Stephanie Rico

Stephanie Rico

Stephanie focuses on helping Wells Fargo achieve its goal of accelerating a transition to a “greener” economy via finance and support of our customers who are looking to take advantage of the benefits of renewable energy and clean technology. Stephanie has a BA in Social Science, Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University and an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

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Austinon June 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm:

Can we get wells fargo to please make an app for windows phones. Bank of America already made one. Let’s get on the ball

Beverly Butleron June 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm:

As a team member, this post is very inspiring. Great photos and a terrific reminder that one has no excuses not to stay on top of money management…even when in Bhutan!

Jon Harschon July 2, 2012 at 10:41 am:

Good to know that it’s not only us financial illiterates, but it sometimes is professional bankers who forget or nearly forget to pay their bills on time!

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