The virtual vault

Wells Fargo online vault

US bank Wells Fargo will launch an online vault for confidential documents this northern summer. The vSafe will allow customers to store electronic copies of digital photos, bank statements, tax reports and passports in its e-safe.

The online repository will serve as a backup for physical files and will allow customers to access critical documents from remote locations while on business trips or holidays.

Stephanie Smith, senior vice president of Wells Fargo’s internet services group, told the San Francisco Chronicle: “This is a natural outgrowth of what online does best. It’s secure, accessible from anywhere, easy to organise and cheap to provide tremendous amounts of storage,” she says.

The monthly fees for the service will amount to $US4.95 for one gigabyte and $US14.95 for six gigabytes, Springwise reports.

Internet companies such as Google and AOL provide gigabytes of free storage through their email products, so for the product to work consumers will have to value highly the extra security Wells Fargo offers.

Wells Fargo says on its website: “Your files remain protected from damage and theft thanks to encrypted file transmission, proven back-up systems, and storage within Wells Fargo’s internal firewalls, while an optional RSA SecurID device provides an added level of identification and security.”

The launch of the vSafe will likely spur competition and innovation that will drive down the cost of online storage facilities.

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