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Bank of America’s mobile banking jumps following app redesign

Bank of America saw the number of customers banking on mobile in the second quarter jump 15 percent from a year ago, following the introduction of application features aimed at driving convenience for users.

The number of mobile banking customers increased to 16.1 million users in the quarter, and 11 percent of deposit transactions by consumers were done through mobile compared to 8 percent in the year-ago period. The results underscore how consumer banks need to revamp mobile sites and applications to increase convenience for customers who feel increasingly comfortable banking on mobile devices.

“Our customers tell us they want to bank 24/7 and have the ability to bank anytime and anywhere,” said Tara Burke, a spokeswoman for Charlotte-based Bank of America. “We’re constantly looking at new ways to enhance our mobile and online platform to enable customers to chose how they bank.

“We’re seeing a growth rate in mobile customers of about 195,000 per month and over 170,000 checks deposited per day via mobile,” she said.

Range of features
After moving deeper into mobile in recent months, Bank of America’s banking services for users on iPhone and iPad now include check-deposit using a mobile device, getting notified of account activity with mobile app alerts and secure money transfers.

Users of the bank’s mobile Web site can access all mobile-app features except app alerts and mobile check deposit. Customers also can use text banking to get an account balance quickly.

The redesign of the bank’s mobile app has accelerated customers’ migration to mobile.

“There is a growing population within mobile banking that are using the mobile platform as their primary way to bank,” Ms. Burke said. “They do over 85 percent of their transactions within the mobile app—this is because they can—the app can be their primary tool to bank.”

Customers enjoy the convenience and flexibility of the bank’s mobile self-service capabilities.

“Again, this goes back to convenience and flexibility – customers can do it on their time and terms,” Ms. Burke said.

The increasing number of checks deposited each day via mobile reflects customers’ satisfaction with the mobile option. More than 170,000 checks per day are deposited at Bank of America via mobile.

Important channel
Mobile has quickly become an important channel for banks, as consumers grow more comfortable using their mobile devices for a wide range of financial services.

A Forrester Research report ranking the mobile experience of leading banks in June placed Bank of America in third place while calling out all of the banks for not having enough self-service features.

The 2014 U.S. Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark report ranked Chase and U.S. Bank tied for first place overall, with scores of 69 out of 100 respectively, closely trailed by Wells Fargo, 68; Bank of America, 66; and Citi, 64.

Bank of America’s app update has addressed many of the issues raised in the report, underscoring how it has made mobile a top priority.

“We have a pipeline of some capability ideas that will continue to enhance and change how consumers bank,” Ms. Burke said. “We’re always looking ahead to see what we can bring to market to make banking more accessible for our customers.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.