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I think every bank I've seen requires either (1) 2 trial deposits, or (2) an online user ID + password to verify your ownership of an external account for the purposes of transferring money.

However, today I saw that Wells Fargo's website doesn't require anything when adding Chase.
They seem to verify your account instantly.

How/why do they do this, and conversely, how come other banks can't do the same thing?

  • They likely have an agreement with Chase that protects them both somewhat. I doubt you'll get a firm answer on this, unless there's an insider. – Marshall Tigerus Feb 2 '17 at 17:37
  • @MarshallTigerus: If there's such an agreement it doesn't seem to be working in the reverse direction... – Mehrdad Feb 4 '17 at 0:44
  • Just because it goes one way doesn't mean it goes both. Could be for a lot of reasons. 1. It's not implemented yet but will be 2. the Business people who wrote the agreement didn't think it would be needed the other way 3. It was never intended to go the other way etc – Marshall Tigerus Feb 6 '17 at 14:28
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Both Wells Fargo and Chase are participants in clearXchange, which enables the various QuickPay type services to work with each other. They may be using this system rather than an ACH wire transfer to transfer your money (and to verify the account).

  • Interestingly, Chase still requires verification when adding Wells Fargo. How likely is this answer to be correct considering this? – Mehrdad Feb 3 '17 at 6:04
  • @Mehrdad just because both WF and Chase participate in clearXchange doesn't mean they both rely on it exclusively for verification. That's like assuming because place A requires ID before accepting your check, place B must do the same. – iheanyi Feb 6 '17 at 18:06
  • Sure, that's why I didn't claim you're wrong. However, it seems unlikely. Especially considering that I didn't even enroll in SurePay, and the system requires an email or phone number to identify users, and I gave one piece of information on one side and nothing on the other side. Technically they both know my identity anyway but I am quite skeptical they used that system behind the scenes... – Mehrdad Feb 6 '17 at 18:36

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