For the avid ski buff, a trip to a Wells Fargo & Co. automated teller machine before hitting the slopes could be a rewarding experience.
In a pilot test that began in mid-December, 50 Express Wells Fargo ATMs along heavily trafficked ski routes in Northern California will dispense discount vouchers for ski-lift tickets.
The vouchers can be used at Heavenly, Sugar Bowl, Northstar-at-Tahoe, and Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resorts. Discounts range from $3 to $7 off the retail price of each ticket.
Any bank customer can benefit from the new Wells Fargo ATM promotion. Consumers insert their ATM cards into selected NCRCorp. machines, enter their personal identification number, and select "buy tickets."
The ATM prints the discounted voucher, which is redeemed at the ski resort for a lift ticket. The consumer's checking account is debited as if a retail purchase had been made.
Wells, which has an agreement with the ski resorts, does not impose a fee for the transaction. Noncustomers' own banks may impose a fee on them..
Brochures at all participating ATMs will include instructions for buying the ski ticket vouchers.
"This makes it easier for customers to scratch things off their to-do list," said Lisa Rossi, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman. "Every skier needs to go to the ATM to get money; now they can get a discounted ski voucher as well."
Ms. Rossi noted that Wells Fargo ATMs have been dispensing another customer convenience, stamps, since 1994.
In related news, Wells Fargo said it has begun processing credit card transactions on the Internet, with Verifone's VPos merchant software.
Wells Fargo said the VPos software processes transactions in real time and has administrative and financial programs to manage an on-line business.