Awards

2018 BAI Global Innovation Award Finalist

BAI Global Innovation Award 2018 finalist Bank of America

 

Innovation in Customer Experience

Bank of America – U.S.A.
Meet Erica: Bank of America’s New AI-Driven Virtual Financial Assistant

The first widely available AI-driven virtual assistant of its kind in financial services, Erica combines the latest technology in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and natural language to be a virtual financial assistant to clients. Erica is designed to learn from clients’ behaviors over time, helping them accomplish simple to complex tasks within the mobile banking app with easy-to-follow prompts. Clients can interact with Erica any way they choose, including texting, talking or tapping options on their screen.

Bank of America team photo

The Problem

While Bank of America’s 67 million clients are extremely diverse, the bank recognizes their needs generally come down to three things: they want everyday banking to be easy enough that they don’t have to think about it; they want the bank to be there when they really need it; and they want personalized help in reaching their financial goals.

To satisfy its clients’ expectations, Bank of America uses its immense scale in data and uses advanced technology to deliver personalized solutions.

After constantly listening to its clients directly and indirectly and paying close attention to feedback through social media and the app store, the bank identified a growing desire for a solution that anticipates clients’ needs and helps them reach their financial goals on their terms.

Erica is that solution.

The Solution

Bank of America’s core operating principal is to make financial lives better for their 67 million clients and growing. To that end Erica has been built to serve as a personal advocate available 24/7 to help clients with everything from basic servicing tasks to delivering personalized guidance. Erica also enables customers to engage with us however and whenever they choose, whether by voice, text chat or on-screen command. Erica has been designed to understand the intent and context of a conversation, both spoken and texted. More than 200,000 different ways for customers to ask financial questions have been integrated into Erica and new functionality is continuously added based upon customer patterns and behaviors. In addition Erica’s conversational abilities and corpus of knowledge continues to evolve, accommodating a broader range of topics on which Erica can provide guidance through a natural, conversational flow of interaction.

Erica combines the latest technology in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and natural language to be a virtual financial assistant to customers and is designed to learn from their behaviors over time, helping them accomplish simple to complex tasks within the mobile banking app with easy-to-follow prompts. Customers can interact with Erica any way they choose, including texting, talking or tapping options on their screen. Erica can help with everyday banking such as searching for transactions, viewing balance information and bills, viewing their credit scores and their account numbers, and more. Erica will also provide personalized proactive guidance to customers based on their unique situation and behaviors to help make managing their day-to-day finances easier, optimize budgeting and cash flow and identify opportunities to help their savings grow.

The Outcome

Through Erica’s phased rollout to customers, which began in April and concluded in early June, we have continually solicited client feedback and analyzed all usage and adoption trends. Thus far, we have been very encouraged by the results and the positive response Erica has received from clients.

In less than two months from the completion of the customer roll-out, Erica is rapidly approaching 2 million users and has completed nearly 4 million client requests to search for transactions, move money – either across their accounts or to individuals through Zelle, pay bills, get basic account information and more.

In the coming months, Erica will be able to tackle more complex tasks, and Bank of America will continue to enhance the solution and provide an increasing breadth of proactive guidance to better anticipate clients’ financial needs and help them reach their goals on their terms.