Continued increase in client engagement drives records for Zelle transfers, digital deposits, Erica interactions and small business sales
February 17, 2022 at 8:00 AM Eastern
Bank of America added more than 2 million active digital clients last year, a single-year record, with its total number of verified digital users reaching more than 54 million. The bank’s clients logged in to its digital platforms a record 10.5 billion times in 2021, a year-over-year increase of 15%.
“Now more than ever, consumers and businesses depend on digital, and Bank of America continues to deliver efficient, safe and reliable digital financial solutions,” said David Tyrie, Chief Digital Officer and Head of Global Marketing at Bank of America. “Our digital capabilities allow our clients to easily manage every aspect of their financial lives across banking, investing, lending and retirement, with access to advice and guidance from our financial professionals and through our financial centers when they need it.”
As of January 2022, the bank has 16 million active Zelle® users – including small businesses – with clients sending more Zelle transactions than physical checks written in 2021 – 514 million compared to 453 million, respectively. Today, 86% of deposits are made through digital or ATM channels. Small business digital sales are nearly 300% above pre-2020 levels, and digital sales account for nearly 50% of total sales. Erica® engaged with clients for approximately 2.2 million hours in 2021. Clients can’t stop banking and are engaging with the bank’s full suite of capabilities:
- A record level of Zelle transactions totaled $231 billion sent and received in 2021, up more than 64% year-over-year. Zelle accounted for 8% of total consumer spending at Bank of America in 2021, demonstrating client demand for fast, easy and safe methods of paying friends and family, shopping digitally and in-store, and paying bills.
- Since launching in 2018, 24.6 million Bank of America clients have interacted with Erica®, the most advanced AI-driven virtual financial assistant, a total of 659 million times. In 2021, clients interactions with Erica were nearly twice the total of the previous two and a half years, with 123 million interactions taking place in Q4 2021 alone, a 247% year-over-year increase. Nearly 7 million clients engaged with Erica for the first time, and interactions among wealth management clients increased by 418% year-over-year.
- Bank of America Life Plan® conversations in financial centers have led to the creation of more than 1.5 million future appointments to further discuss clients’ life priorities. More than6 million Bank of America clients have created a Life Plan to set and track their financial goals and better understand and act on steps toward achieving them. Since its launch in October 2020, Life Plan clients have created 2.1 million new deposit accounts, 78,000 new Merrill brokerage accounts and opened 892,000 new card accounts.
- Since adding Merrill investment features to the Bank of America app in Q2 2020, Bank of America has seen a 90% increase in the number of clients accessing investment features through mobile. Consumer Investments added 525,000 new funded accounts in 2021, bringing total accounts to 3.3 million. The Consumer Investments group is largely made up of Merrill Edge Self-Directed (MESD) accounts and Merrill Guided Investing (MGI) accounts. Last year, 40% of newly funded MESD and MGI accounts were opened by young investors under the age of 40, a 54% increase from 2019.
- More than 85% of Bank of America small business clients are using digital channels. In addition, 75% of the bank’s mid-sized and large corporate clients are relying on digital to manage their companies’ finances. In 2021, these companies approved $384 billion of payments through the CashPro® app, a 119% increase year-over-year, with CashPro app sign-ins up 55%. Most recently, Bank of America launched CashPro Forecasting, a tool that uses AI and machine learning technology to more accurately predict future cash positions across client accounts at Bank of America and other financial institutions.
“Clients expect financial solutions that are timely, relevant and secure,” said Tyrie. “At Bank of America, we will continue to be at the forefront of innovation, leveraging best-in-class technology to support our clients through integrated and individualized capabilities to meet all of their financial needs.”
More information on how Bank of America clients are engaging with digital is available in the bank’s quarterly Trends in Digital fact sheet.
Recent awards and recognition
Bank of America’s digital leadership continues to be recognized throughout the industry, receiving more than 100 accolades in 2021 and already receiving top honors in 2022, most recently a No. 1 ranking from Barlow for small business online and mobile adoption. Bank of America has also been recognized recently as the Best Digital Bank by The Digital Banker in the Retail Banking Innovation Awards, and No. 1 on Keynova’s Online Banking Scorecard for the 26th consecutive time. Merrill Edge was also recognized as Best Online Stock Broker for Beginners by Bankrate. Additional awards in 2022 and during Q4 2021 include:
- Best Mobile Cash Management Software, by Global Finance (2022)
- No. 1 Overall for Small Business Banking Digital Functionality, No. 1 Overall for Credit Card Scorecard, No. 1 in Digital Card Sales, Functionality, No. 1 Digital Mortgage and Home Equity Experience, Keynova (2021)
- No. 1 Overall for Account Information, No. 1 Overall for Account Servicing, No. 1 Overall for Investor Questionnaires, No. 1 Overall for Fund and Account Transfers, No. 1 Overall for Mobile Alerts and Notifications, by Corporate Insight in the Monitor Awards
- Best Digital Initiative for Bank of America Mobile App by Banking Tech Awards
- No. 1 in Small Business Checking Digital Service penetration, Mobile Banking penetration and Remote Deposit Capture penetration in the BAI Small Business Benchmarking Study
- 2021 Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading – Merrill Edge, Bankrate
- No. 1 Overall Digital Experience by Forrester Research
- Preferred Rewards program awarded Best in Class for Customer Loyalty Team, Customer Focus, Program Strategy and Design, B2B Customer Loyalty by Loyalty360
- Outstanding Financial Innovator – 2021 Global by Global Finance
- CashPro App named Winner: Mobile Technology Solution in Awards for Innovation & Excellence in Treasury by Treasury Management International, 2021
- Digital Innovation Award for Merrill’s Digital Wealth Overview from MMI/Barron’s
- Named Most Innovative Private Bank in North America by Global Finance