Erica, a widely available virtual financial assistant, has surpassed one billion interactions with Bank of America clients. The artificial intelligence (AI) powered technology, officially launched in 2018 and has since helped nearly 32 million clients with their everyday financial needs.
“Erica is the definition of how Bank of America is delivering personalisation and individualisation at scale to our clients,” said David Tyrie, chief digital officer and head of global marketing at Bank of America. “We expect the second billion to come even more quickly as we continue to evolve Erica’s capabilities, providing clients with the shortest route to the answers they need about their financial lives.”
Since its launch, Erica has expanded to include new features and functionality:
- Clients viewed 37 million proactive insights to help them review their finances and cut recurring subscription charges that may have increased unexpectedly, know when they’ve received a merchant refund, or have duplicate charges.
- More than four million proactive notifications about eligibility for Preferred Rewards have helped clients enroll in the program and enjoy the benefits.
- 60 million Spend Path insights have helped clients understand their finances with a weekly snapshot of spending.
- More than 98 per cent of clients get the answers they need using Erica. In September 2022, the bank launched ‘Mobile Servicing Chat’ by Erica to connect clients for a live chat with representatives to answer more complex servicing questions, with more than 170,000 chats having already taken place.
- Coming in the first half of 2023, Erica will connect clients to financial specialists when they have questions about new products and services, such as a mortgage, credit card or deposit account.
“Bank of America has invested $3billion or more on new technology initiatives each year for over a decade, including significant investments in AI that allow us to deliver a seamless user experience and industry-leading personalisation for our clients banking online or on their mobile devices,” explains Aditya Bhasin, chief technology and information officer.
“Our continued investment in Erica’s AI-powered capabilities enables us to quickly respond to voice, text chat or on-screen interactions from clients who need assistance with financial transactions, and to proactively deliver personalised insights and advice at key moments.”
As Erica’s capabilities have grown, so has its ability to help clients across their entire banking, lending and investing relationship with Bank of America, including Merrill Edge, Bank of America Private Bank and Benefits Online.
Erica also supports Merrill clients through insights on portfolio performance, trading, investment balances, quotes and holdings and can help connect clients to a Merrill advisor. Additionally, bankers who support business clients at Bank of America use BankerAssist, an AI virtual assistant leveraging the underlying technology of Erica, to identify and close new opportunities, manage exposure and use real-time data to further client conversations.
Discussing how Erica demonstrates the potential gain offered by virtual assistants, Sanjeev Kumar, VP EMEA at Boost.ai, said, “The success and longevity of Bank of America’s virtual financial assistant, Erica, highlights the transformative impact that virtual agents can have for financial institutions.
“The number of customers using online banking has grown exponentially, especially during the covid-19 pandemic. As a result, banks need to ensure that they are offering their customers the best possible service online, and this service lies in the use of virtual assistants, which are underpinned by agile conversational AI platforms.
“With the right expertise and in-house training, businesses across the BFSI sector can leave virtual agents to deal with most customer enquiries, freeing human employees to handle more complex requests. Moreover, there are benefits to virtual agents beyond just assisting customers, as conversational AI can enable banking staff to find the information they need faster with internal queries.”