Bank of America Unveils Digital Financial Planning Tools

Life Plan will leverage existing customer data to help clients set and monitor financial goals.

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Need to Know

  • Life Plan, Bank of America’s new planning tool, allows clients to set financial goals within Bank of America’s website and mobile app.
  • The tool monitors spending and budgeting in real-time and allows users to adjust their financial goals accordingly.
  • Users can schedule in-person conversations with Bank of America representatives using Life Plan through the BoA app or website.
  • During Life Plan’s pilot launch, the tool led to more than 3,800 referrals for conversations with bankers.

Analysis

Bank of America is making its financial planning tools available to a wider cross-section of its clientele, launching a digital tool, Life Plan, that allows users to set and track goals in real-time on the bank’s mobile app and website.

Life Plan, which Bank of America launched on Monday, lets clients set multiple goals—such as homeownership and retirement—which are then combined with Life Plan’s trove of existing customer data. Using machine learning, the tool then allows users to track and modify goals alongside real-time data on spending and financial management.

“We designed Life Plan to give clients the power to define, prioritize and make progress toward their financial goals,” David Tyrie, Bank of America’s head of digital said in a statement. “Life Plan delivers a personalized experience for every client, providing information that is timely and relevant, aligned to their unique financial goals, and offering a choice of the next best step.”

Personalized goal-management advice is generally reserved for high-earning clients with the ability to hire and retain a personal financial advisor; with Life Plan, Bank of America is aiming to democratize access to financial planners. And it seems to be working: during its eight-month pilot phase, Life Plan led to 3,800 referrals for conversations with bankers, as clients looked to further personalize and fine-tune their individual fiscal goals.

Life Plan integrates with Bank of America’s existing tools such as Erica®, its AI-driven virtual financial assistant, which uses voice prompts to display account-holder data such as account balances, recurring payments, and transaction histories. Life Plan will also integrate Preferred Rewards, Bank of America’s loyalty program, and Better Money Habits, a free financial education platform.

Bank of America has been working to increase its digital offerings and capacities throughout 2020, announcing in January plans to double its market share through a robust digital strategy, which included investments in AI and mobile app infrastructure. The bank rolled out an improved mobile app experience in early September, including an overview of all financial information in one location, extended Erica support, and the integration of Merrill accounts.

Bank of America 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.

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