Bank of America processed $4 billion in Zelle payments this quarter
- B of A's digital users grew 5.2 percent to 34.5 million on a year-over-year basis; mobile banking users grew 10.8 percent to 23.6 million
- The bank has spent $2.25 billion on technology initiatives in the first nine months of this year
The "Venmo-killer" may end up living up to its name. Bank of America processed $4 billion in Zelle transactions in the third quarter of 2017 alone, CEO Brian Moynihan reported on the bank’s earnings call Friday morning. Digital payments volume increased nine percent to $324 million. Within that, person-to-person payments growth was about 67 percent with the addition of Zelle this summer, reporting 13.6 million transactions and $4 billion in volume. The bank recently processed half a billion dollars in a single week, Moynihan said. Over at Wells Fargo, CEO Tim Sloan said during that earning call that third-quarter peer-to-peer payments increased 46 percent, but didn't provide a Zelle-specific number. Bank of America is also making mobile a priority in other ways. It said it would roll out a mobile offering for auto and home loanshopping and plans to deploy its AI assistant erica for mobile devices “in the next couple quarters.” It has also been working on adding its Cash Pro capability — a digital bill pay function for business customers — to mobile devices, using artificial intelligence to prospect business clients and offer them receivables management alternatives, investing in an enhanced wholesale credit underwriting model and rebuilding its trading platforms. Bank of America has spent $2.25 billion on technology initiatives in the first nine months of this year, Moynihan said. Moynihan reiterated frequently throughout the call that the bank is dedicated to “responsible growth” and investing meaningfully in the company while also reducing costs. The bank’s digital users grew 5.2 percent to 34.5 million on a year-over-year basis. Mobile banking users grew 10.8 percent to 23.6 million. Mobile deposits accounted for 21 percent of all check deposits, with the rest coming from branches. Like its peers, B of A is consolidating its branch network and investing in fewer but larger spaces for customers to come in for financial advice. As part of that effort it’s adding branches in markets that historically haven’t had a B of A presence like Denver, Minneapolis and Indianapolis. The bank is also testing video assist ATMs and other video conferencing capabilities in areas “where it makes sense to do that,” said CFO Paul Donofrio. B of A has added 2,000 primary sales staff — mostly in consumer banking — in the last 12 months, including relationship bankers, financial advisers as well as commercial and business leaders. Donofrio said the bank expects branch refurbishments are expected to be completed in the next couple years.