Bank of America has reported a record-breaking year for digital engagement as banks across the US continue to invest in online banking capabilities.
The bank said it added more than two million new digital clients in 2021, the highest figure for this metric. Verified digital users hit 54 million, an all-time high, while its online platform recorded more than 10.5 billion logins, an annual increase of 15%.
For business clients, more than 85% of small businesses are using digital tools, while three quarters of mid- and large-sized corporate clients are doing so.
It also recorded increased engagement with Zelle, a digital money transfer tool part-owned by Bank of America, as well as more interactions with Erica, its virtual financial assistant. Customers transferred $231 billion through Zelle last year, Bank of America reported, up 64% on 2020.
Digital deposits are also growing in popularity, with 86% of deposits made digitally or through ATM channels, rather than in branches.
The digital expansion is just one example of banks of all sizes expanding their online and digital capabilities. The Covid-19 pandemic and enforced remote working rapidly accelerated development of such services, but despite the relaxing of restrictions digital banking and payments are continuing to accelerate.
Earlier this month, Pacific Western Bank launched a digital learning platform designed to help customers engage digitally with its services.
Santander has also invested into digital, pledging a $35 million grant to non-profit Comp-U-Dopt to improve access to computers and the internet for people from low-income backgrounds.
As banks continue to push for more digital capabilities, a recent report from Eightfold AI highlighted that hiring and training policies need to reflect these aims.
Eightfold AI’s report called on banks to rethink staffing policies to future-proof their organizations and compete with financial technology companies.
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