Erica Is a ‘Multi-Generational Plan,’ BofA Says

Bank of America is busy prepping Erica– the bank’s long-awaited, AI-powered chatbot — for a debut later this year.

Once unveiled, the chatbot, which was first teased during the Money 20/20 conference last year, will be running the BofA show, incorporating everything from P2P payments to budgeting and saving tools, Michelle Moore, the bank’s head of digital banking, told Bank Innovation.

“It is our entrance into the world of Siri and Alexa,” she said. “The entire [ BofA banking] ecosystem will be integrated into Erica.”

This means that Erica will also be integrated with Zelle — the white-labeled P2P service BofA introduced back in February, and which already gave its P2P volume a boost; the bank reported $8 billion in overall P2P transactions past quarter, up 25% from the prior quarter.

According to BofA, person to person transactions– including bill splitting, and e-gifting– have become a social norm among customers, with nearly two in five (36%) adults currently using the service. However, studies show that the vast majority of customers still prefer third-party P2P services, such as (the obvious) Venmo, despite all the effort from banks and other FIs.

Will Erica be able to change this trend?

“This is a multi-generational plan,” Moore added. “Her [Erica’s] functions will be to help users understand how to pay down debt, and help them save for goals. Customers will see how easy and intuitive it is to use, over time.”

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