Bank of America upgrades digital platforms
Bank of America (BofA) announced several updates to its online and mobile banking platforms to better meet customers’ priorities, reflecting the bank’s continued emphasis on its digital offerings.
Two notable upgrades include:
- Faster checking account application. BofA introduced a streamlined process for customers to apply for a checking account within the bank’s mobile app. The enhanced single-page design simplifies the process by populating customer information into the application.
- BankAmeriDeals coins. BankAmeriDeals — the bank’s platform that provides debit and credit cardholders with discounts at retailers and restaurants in the form of cashback — now offers redeemable coins. Cardholders can earn the coins when they redeem their BankAmeriDeals cashback. Through the coins, they can earn more than $100 extra cashback.
These upgrades are a continuation of BofA’s ongoing strategy to build out its digital channels.
- BofA has closed branches and added new digital features to accommodate consumers’ shifting banking preferences. BofA has closed 1,597 branches in the US since 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. For context, that’s equivalent to 26% of the branches that the bank currently operates. And earlier this year the bank started to update its digital offerings with contactless ATMs, an enhanced mobile dashboard, and a goal-setting tool. Closing branches and building out digital offerings can cut costs significantly — mobile deposits “cost one-tenth of what it costs to do over the counter,” according to BofA CEO Brian Moynhan, who was quoted by Yahoo — and allow the bank to invest in channels that more effectively meet the needs and preferences of its consumers.
- And while cutting costs, the bank is reaping benefits. BofA’s digital offerings have seen rising engagement in the last year — consumers have opened 38% more accounts through the bank’s mobile platform over the past year. In Q3 2017, the bank had over 1 billion digital interactions with its customers. And customers have been using mobile devices to deposit more than 330,000 checks daily. BofA’s new offerings can encourage more mobile and digital banking adoption, and increase engagement among existing users in a cost-effective and popular way.
BI Intelligence’s first Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report identifies which mobile banking and emerging features are most important to consumers when choosing a bank. The study ranks the largest 15 banks and credit unions in the US by whether they offer the mobile features that customers say they care most about. The report helps channel strategists choose which features they should focus their attention on, and lets them see how they compare to rival banks in offering those features.
This study uses exclusive data from the BI Insiders Panel (BIIP), an exclusive online community of 17,000 of our readers from all over the world. Designed to be a leading-edge indicator of what’s next in digital, BIIP members tend to be affluent, tech-savvy early adopters. This means that the BIIP community is an especially sensitive indicator of what consumers will buy and adopt, as well as what behaviors, devices, and platforms will be the winners in digital disruption.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Wells Fargo leads the pack. The bank offers in-demand mobile transfer capabilities, along with competitive features related to security and mobile wallets. USAA follows closely behind in second. Bank of America and Citi are tied for third, and Capital One rounds out the top five.
- Mobile transfers are the most in-demand mobile features. Transfers are the most important category of features to consumers when choosing a bank, according to our study. The most in-demand feature in this study, instant transfers, is in this category. Transfers also include bill pay, international transfers, and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.
- Post-Equifax, consumer interest in security tools is high. Security and control was the second most popular category in the study. Gen Xers value several features in this category — such as setting travel notifications and mobile access to ATMs — more than millennials.
- Interest in advanced mobile banking account access is poised to jump. The account access section, the third most popular in this study, includes features like biometrics and account aggregation. With Face ID giving customers a new way to log in to banking, interest in the group of features will likely rise.
- In spite of lagging adoption, interest in mobile wallets is still healthy. This category weighs not only whether banks support provisioning their cards in each of the popular wallets, but if they offer their own bank-branded wallets. Our study shows consumers rank support of third-party wallets as much more important than banking solutions.
- Conversational features have the lowest demand in the study. The voice- or chatbot-based banking tools in the category are desired by only a small fraction of consumers. Instead of using the features to attract new customers, banks are exploring offloading costly transitional conversations with live support staff to AI.
In full, the report:
- Shows how 32 mobile features stack up according to how important consumers say they are for choosing a new bank.
- Ranks the top 15 banks on whether they offer each of those features.
- Analyzes how demographics effect demand for different mobile features.
- Provides strategies for banks to best attract and retain customers with mobile features.
The full report is available to BI Intelligence enterprise clients. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (firstname.lastname@example.org). BI Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, Key Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, SunTrust, TD, US Bank, and USAA.