Banking

After four years of work and 400,000 lines of code, Bank of America combines five different apps into one unified banking platform

  • Bank of America recently combined banking, investing and retiring into one experience in a major update to its app.
  • Dive into how the bank solved its Information Architecture challenges, reworked its personalization strategy, and introduced a new payments and transfer hub to formulate the new unified platform.
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After four years of work and 400,000 lines of code, Bank of America combines five different apps into one unified banking platform

Bank of America recently combined banking, investing and retiring into one experience in a major update to its app. The bank’s managing director & product management executive, Jorge Camargo says the integration comes after the bank conducted extensive research and experience design studies that showed that their clients wanted “simplicity and convenience to monitor, manage, and optimize their full financial picture from a single place.”

The unified platform integrates five different apps: Bank of America, Merrill Edge, MyMerrill, Bank of America Private Bank and Benefits OnLine. The new platform also integrates digital tools like LifePlan and Net Worth Estimator, as well as the bank’s virtual assistant, Erica.

Under the hood

The initiative took the bank four years to complete. The importance of building away from fragmentation and towards an integrated experience is highlighted even more when we consider that the bank’s digital experiences continue to be popular. Last year, the bank’s customers digitally interacted with their finances 23.4 billion times, which was an 11% increase year-over-year.

Any development and integration task at this scale starts with user research. Camargo adds that their Experience Design team’s work was “instrumental” to this initiative, concluding 125 research efforts with over 25,000 participants in the last year alone.

Building on this feedback, the bank now had to make its various apps and underlying architecture work together as one app. Here, Camargo adds that the biggest challenge was posed by “Information Architecture (IA) design and personalization capabilities”. That’s  more easily said than done: BofA had to organize, structure, and label hundreds of digital features across disparate functions like banking, wealth, and retirement while prioritizing the ease of navigation.


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