I went to a Skookum Tech Talk and learned how Bank of America is using technology to enable clients to live better financial lives

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(Note: This content was co-created with Skookum

The event

Skookum Tech Talks are free monthly events held at B2B digital strategy, design and development firm, Skookum, located on the 15th floor of 201 S. Tryon St.

Basically, the talks are a casual and interesting way to connect leading minds and technology innovators with Charlotteans ready to learn – see more about these events here.

[Agenda related story: I went to a Skookum Tech Talk and learned how Duke Energy is staying on top of all things tech – and what that means for your energy services]

Photo via Laura Sumrak

Delivering for Clients With a High Tech/High Touch Strategy with Bank of America

I recently went to a tech talk given by Aditya Bhasin, Bank of America’s Head of Consumer, Small Business and Wealth Management Technology. As one of the biggest banks in the world, BofA is still refreshingly invested in the client experience, the city of Charlotte, and innovation. They also believe that technology is a vital asset to all three of these areas.

Bank of America strongly believes that there’s no reason Charlotte can’t become a financial technology (“fintech” for short) capital of the world. As Bhasin pointed out, we’ve got the talent, natural resources and a state-of-the-art international airport linking us to domestic and global markets. Plus, BofA is actively supporting local organizations like the Carolina Fintech Hub to make this happen.

The bank is also committed to helping clients lead better financial lives by providing them with all the resources they can. This includes, innovative ideas, speed to market and of course, technology.

The power of innovation and technology

Bank of America serves over 47 million consumer and small business relationships, and 23 million of those actively use their mobile app. Last quarter they processed more than 1 billion mobile logins, and a quarter of their sales are completely digital.

Compared to a decade ago when banks would interact with customers once a month through a paper statement, they’ve already come a long way. Bhasin explained how the bank wants technology and financial services to seamlessly blend into your life, meaning you should be able to pay a bill or deposit a check effortlessly in your day-to-day.

But they also understand that sometimes, like when you’re about to make a huge financial decision, nothing can replace face-to-face communication with a real person. Luckily, you can now use the app to set up appointments with a financial advisor so they’ll be ready when you are. Over 30,000 digital appointments are made per week using BofA’s online and mobile banking solutions.

This is where the principle of high tech, high touch comes in. Through a deep integration of human and digital interaction, Bank of America is able to deliver the best client experience possible.

Looking to the future

Bank of America is committed to growing responsibly. Already the bank has cut their environmental impact by decreasing their use of paper – it’s costly, less secure, and clients don’t like it. Instead, clients can now get pre-approved financing and buy a car almost entirely online. Unless it’s required by regulation, you won’t be seeing any paper from BofA.

Next, Bank of America is looking to artificial intelligence and intelligent personalization to help their clients. Their new chatbot, Erica, is one example of this. As a personal assistant, Erica can help you pay your bills, but she can also help you make better financial decisions by learning about your habits and providing advice.

Finally, Bank of America is focusing on technology innovation. They’re the only bank in the top 300 list of U.S. patent holders, and every year, they hold Technology Innovation Summits in Silicon Valley and New York. Something the bank hopes to replicate here in Charlotte in future. During this event, hundreds of startups come to showcase their solutions to the topical issues facing financial technology, and several end up becoming vendors of BofA.

My takeaways:

  1. Bank of America is dedicated to its clients. They’re focusing on improving current client experiences through technology, increasing diversity in technology and supporting fintech innovation in Charlotte.
  2. They believe that innovation is everyone’s business. Instead of having an “innovation lab” they encourage a culture where all their employees are empowered to innovate, which is how thousands of employees collaborated on developing the AI technology for Erica.
  3. By offering a high tech, high touch approach to financial services, BofA is giving their clients the best of both worlds and the opportunity to lead better financial lives – through technology when they need it, and real humans when an app won’t cut it.

Wish you had been there?

Catch Aditya Bhasin’s talk here.

Can’t get enough of Bank of America or Skookum?

Learn more about Bank of America here and Skookum here.

Cover photo by Laura Sumrak.
(Note: This content was co-created with Skookum

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