Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
(www.wellsfargo.com) Wells Fargo & Co., San Francisco, is piloting the Wells Fargo EasyOrder online shopping service for automatic filling of online store order forms at thousands of retailers, it says. The service is being provided in partnership with e-commerce solutions company (www.brodia.com) Brodia, San Francisco. The Wells Fargo EasyOrder service is being made available free to online banking customers through a pilot program that started last month, says the financial institution. It says it is currently piloting the service with 750 customers "to gain in-depth customer feedback" before it rolls it out to its 1.4 million online banking customers early next year. During the pilot, the service will be available through a private Web site.
The EasyOrder service stores purchasing information-multiple billing, shipping and credit card information for automatic filling of online store orders-in one location. Customers will no longer need to re-enter data each time they make online purchases, says Wells Fargo. In addition, the service will store order confirmations and favorite shopping sites while keeping all of it secure in an encrypted format accessible only with a password and user ID. Search capabilities help customers find a particular product, brand or store, and special offers and discounts are presented for those products selected by the customer. Wells intends to leverage its existing 1.4 million consumer online banking relationships, encouraging these users to shop online with the new service, says Sharon Osberg, executive vice president of the bank's Online Financial Services Group. To shop with the EasyOrder service, Wells Fargo customers link directly to the online store of their choice and select items for purchase. At the checkout section of the online store, customers are requested to fill out an order form with credit card and shipping information. Instead of typing in information, customers click on a button and the form is automatically completed using information stored by the Wells service, it says.
A recent survey found that online banking customers were more comfortable making online purchases than general Internet users. In fact, 77% of Wells Fargo's online banking customers have made purchases online, compared to 42% of general Internet users. Brodia, the partner company, "simplifies and organizes" online shopping around the individual, helping consumers find what they are looking for while protecting their privacy and eliminating unwanted marketing.