For Bank of America, mobile and digital channels are sustaining its retail business. In a third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, CEO Brian Moynihan stressed the importance of digital banking offerings that are complemented by human support.
“Customers continue to transact and interact with us in person, as well as through the digital channel,” he said. “We continue to invest in by adding financial centers and renovated existing ones.”
BofA, like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, is strategically using its branch network as a tool for associates to market additional service offerings and to lend assistance to customers with digital tools.
Moynihan noted that digital investments are fueling deposit growth. The bank confirmed it had 28.7 million active mobile banking users, up 10% from the same period last year. The bank also reported 38 million active digital banking users, a 5% increase year over year. Over the past year, the bank opened 98 branches and renovated 562 of them. In total, BofA has 4,302 branches, 83 less than the same period last year.
On the global wealth and investment management side of the business, mobile channel usage among households increased 49% in Merrill Lynch and 47% at BofA Private Bank compared to the third quarter of 2018, BofA reported.
Meanwhile, the results of BofA’s digital push can be seen in the growing adoption of peer-to-peer payments network Zelle. According to BofA, more than than 8 million BofA customers are active Zelle users. Customers made more than 80 million peer-to-peer transactions through Zelle, with a payment volume of $21 billion during the third quarter, representing 43% growth year over year.
Looking ahead, the bank is prioritizing deeper customer relationships, a means to capture a 360-degree view of clients’ financial lives, as the bank’s head of small business Sharon Miller recently told Bank Innovation.
Indeed, the differentiator for BofA is the trust it’s developed among its customer base, Moynihan explained. “On the consumer side, [the bank is leveraging] the power of the brand and the franchise and digital properties.” According to the company, BofA ranked first in the U.S. in deposit market share. The bank currently has more than $1.39 billion in deposits, a 4% increase year over year.
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