Bank of America Upgrades Digital and Mobile Experience

The bank reported a 15% year-over-year spike in mobile-only users as digital service user bases grew by the millions.

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Need to Know

  • New enhancements to Bank of America’s mobile app include an integrated account view, consolidated rewards, and enhancements to Erica, Bank of America’s AI assistant.
  • New features are available to customers with either a Merrill investing or retirement relationship, as well as those with a Bank of America Private Bank relationship.
  • The changes come as Bank of America has observed a 15% year-over-year spike in mobile-only users.
  • Erica now has 15 million users and has helped clients with over 175 million requests. Zelle, the digital payments service, has over 11 million users.

Analysis

As Bank of America sees more of its users migrating to mobile-only banking, it has rolled out an extended list of enhancements to its app to make online financial management more streamlined for its customers.

On Monday, Bank of America announced a number of new features coming to its mobile app, including an overview all of financial information in one location, including Bank of America checking and savings accounts and Bank of America Private Bank accounts, plus Merrill investing or retirement accounts. Additionally, the Bank of America mobile app will have extended Erica support: Erica is the company’s AI virtual assistant, which will now support Merrill clients and connect them to a Merrill advisor.

The app will now offer in-app trading to Merrill account-holders, a streamlined rewards program, and the ability to issue peer-to-peer payments using Zelle, the digital payments service used by Bank of America.

“We are focused on delivering a personalized digital experience that spans and supports the full breadth of each client’s relationship,” David Tyrie, Bank of America head of Digital, Financial Center Strategy, and Advanced Client Solutions, said of the app enhancements. “Each digital experience we develop for clients is founded on three principles: It should be in the client’s best interest; it should provide information and advice that is relevant and timely; and it should offer the client the choice of the next best step.”

Erica, the AI assistant that Bank of American debuted in 2017, is now used by more than 15 million customers and has handled 175 million requests. The tool, which can be interacted with by customers through voice commands or texting, combines predictive analytics and natural language to help app users access their account information and perform basic transactions, such as scheduling meetings with financial advisors, transferring money between accounts, and paying bills.

The Merrill accounts app integration is new to Bank of America: previously, account holders with Bank of America’s Merrill unit, which includes Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and self-directed investing at Merrill Edge, could access their accounts via the MyMerrill mobile app. They can continue to use that app, but can now also access the suite of products and technologies available within Bank of America’s main app, as well.

The mobile app enhancements are just the latest in a year of technological investments for Bank of America, which has seen mobile-only banking customers increase by 15% year over year. In January, the bank reported 38.3 million active digital banking users and 29.2 million active mobile banking users; users of Zelle, meanwhile, sent 300 million transfers totaling $78 billion in 2019. At that time, the bank estimated that it could double its market share with planned investments in online, mobile, AI-powered, and peer-to-peer (P2P) banking.

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