BoA Confirms Digital Banking Engagement Trends

Debatably slow on takeoff, digital banking is soaring with the eagles now, standing as one of the biggest success stories yet to emerge from the great digital shift the pandemic caused.

New proof comes from Bank of America (BoA), revealing that its 54 million verified online clients logged into its platform and app 10.5 billion times in 2021, climbing 15% year over year.

In a press release issued Thursday (Feb. 17), BoA added dimension to online banking news discussed during its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings release in January.

As headline numbers go, BoA said it added over 2 million active digital clients last year — “a single-year record” — adding that the bank now 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.”

BoA said “86% of deposits are made through digital or ATM channels. Small business digital sales are nearly 300% above pre-2020 levels.” Digital represents “nearly 50% of total sales.”

Read more: ‘Record’ Digital Engagement Fuels BoA’s $32B 2021

“Clients expect financial solutions that are timely, relevant and secure,” said Chief Digital Officer and Head of Global Marketing David Tyrie in the release. “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.”

Additionally, over 85% of small business clients are now using digital channels, as are 75% of the bank’s mid-sized and large corporate clients, according to the release.

Digital engagement with banks and financial institutions (FIs) is the new frontier for financial services, as consumer behaviors continue to steer the design of these services.

Part of this comes from increasing consumer comfort with digital authentication through mobile devices, particularly biometrics like finger scans and facial recognition linked to finance apps.

According to The Future of Authentication in Financial Services, a PYMNTS and Entersekt collaboration, “Consumers who access their digital financial accounts via multiple platforms are the most likely to use multiple biometric authentication methods to access their digital financial services accounts at least once a month, ” with 36% of cross-platform consumers using fingerprint scans, 28% using facial scans and 18% using voice to access finances online.

Get the study: The Future of Authentication in Financial Services

Leading the charge are connected economy devotees who see digital as the common thread linking an interoperable world where access to banking is on anywhere/anytime terms.

For example, the PYMNTS study “The Connected Consumer in the Digital Economy: Who Wants to Live in a Digital Connected Economy — and Why?” found high use and enthusiasm for digital banking — most notably mobile.

Per that study, “the strong majority of consumers have grown accustomed to and comfortable with managing their finances and transacting online, and they are now 51% more likely to bank online than they are to bank in person.”

PYMNTS’ most recent measure found connected consumers use of banking websites and mobile apps at 71% and 69%, respectively.

“Mobile app users tend to use them more frequently,” the study stated. “Our research shows that 47% of consumers bank and transact via app at least once per week, and 12% do so daily. Among consumers who perform these activities through their FIs’ websites, 46% do so at least once per week and 10% do so every day.”

Get the study: The Connected Consumer in the Digital Economy

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: ACCOUNT OPENING AND LOAN SERVICING IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

About: Forty-two percent of US consumers are more likely to open accounts with FIs that make it easy to auto-share their banking details during sign-up. The PYMNTS study Account Opening And Loan Servicing In The Digital Environmentsurveyed 2,300 consumers to examine how FIs can leverage open banking to engage customers and create a better account opening experience.

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