Zelle Only Latest in Long Line of Innovation, BofA Says

  • Grace Noto
  • February 24, 2017
  • 0

gazelle-impala-mother-antelope-africa-64226Zelle — dubbed the “Venmo killer” — made a quiet, white-labeled arrival on Bank of America’s mobile app this week.

The bank integrated the gazelle of P2P payments (it’s funny because of its speed and its name—works on two levels) earlier this week.

While all of the service’s numerous partner banks are integrating the ability to send P2P payments, so far BofA is the only one to go all out.

“Each bank is [implementing Zelle] when they are ready. We are the first of the banks to roll out the full suite of [Zelle] features,” Mary Harman, enterprise payments executive for Bank of America, told Bank Innovation. “We’re really pleased that we’re starting the progression.”

According to Harman, all of Zelle’s partnering banks are implementing its “send” feature this year—and JPMorgan Chase is implementing a “request” feature—but BofA customers can already send, receive, and “split” P2P payments in the bank’s app.

At the moment, BofA users don’t see a hint of Zelle purple when they use these features; that will change by mid-year, when Zelle rolls out as a standalone app.

Iphone-SplitBanks will keep the features on their apps (with “visible Zelle” experience) for the customers, which prefer not to use the separate Zelle app, according to Harman.

BofA is no stranger to driving innovation; its integration of Zelle was announced on the bank’s ten-year mobile banking anniversary.

Keeping up with its innovation momentum, BofA will also launch its chatbot, Erica,  at some point this year on its mobile app. The bot, which users will be able to interact with via text or voice, will allow customers to stay on top of their spending, implement new ways to save based on Erica’s advice, and execute transactions. So what will the interaction between Erica and Zelle look like?

“We haven’t gone into that level of detail [with Erica],” said Harman. “We haven’t announced all of the functions that Erica will have.”

To learn more about P2P payments and mobile banking, join us in San Jose on March 6-7 for Bank Innovation 2017, where the best conversations in fintech take place. Click here to register.

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