AFTAs 2015: Best Mobile-Strategy Initiative—Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank by Appointment (BBA) and Click-to-Dial functionality represent the pinnacle of BofA’s efforts in the space.

bofa-mobile
Bridget Curtin, Angela Keenan, Judy Chu, Muggsy Bogues, Phil Hordle, Hannah Kaplan

While strictly not Waters’ area of focus, mobile banking initiatives have in recent times evolved to become more than merely balance-checking services entirely inferior to a desktop experience. As part of a larger cultural movement toward using mobile technology to facilitate real-life experiences, a bank’s clientele is now part of a hyper-connected community, comfortable with executing intricate tasks in the palm of their hand. This year, Bank of America’s mobile strategy set it apart from the chasing pack in creating a connected experience between physical and digital channels.

Hari Gopalkrishnan, consumer and wealth management eCommerce technology, consumer banking architecture and segments technology executive at Bank of America, refers to what he calls the “four-legged stool” of BofA’s mobile strategy.

The first is basic account information and transactional capabilities, while the second pertains to the ability for clients to use mobile rather than customer services—i.e., placing a “travel flag” on their accounts when abroad. The third leg is that of mobile payments, while personal financial management (PFM) represents the fourth. Despite the above-mentioned features, the real task for BofA has been to ensure that the bank’s best services reach end-users efficiently and securely. 

Bank by Appointment (BBA) and Click-to-Dial functionality represent the pinnacle of BofA’s efforts in the space, the end-goal being to ensure a seamless transition between channels. In this respect, clients are able to authenticate via one channel and complete their transactions via another, without having to repeat authentication or provide the context or background for their requests. 

BBA brings a human touch to the experience and provides customers with a convenient way to engage with banking specialists, by phone or in person, by scheduling appointments at a time and location that works for them. This capability integrates with the financial centers for improved scheduling of specialists. As appointments are booked through the BBA application, the appointment information integrates with employees’ calendars, allowing them to prepare in advance for a call or meeting with the customer.

Adoption of these services has been impressive with approximately 115,000 unique customers leveraging the new functionality, and, as Gopalkrishnan alluded to in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in October of this year, the initiative focuses on services from an end-user’s perspective. “Technology is interesting, but as we start thinking about delivering great customer experience, you can’t do that without thinking through the head of a customer,” he said.  

This year, Bank of America’s mobile strategy set it apart from the chasing pack in creating a connected experience between physical and digital channels.

 

 

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