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See What Erica Can Do

Capgemini’s recently released World Retail Banking Report 2021, focuses attention on the fundamental transition in banks to digitization accelerated by the pandemic.

The report claims that “banking as usual is evolving into a digital-first, seamlessly integrated banking experience via coexisting digital channels and modernized branches” that includes “a shift to enhance the customer journey by enriching last mile delivery” and “product centric innovation that gives way to customer-centric intelligent transformation.”

The schematic below outlines the elements of this digital-first shift.

There are many examples of steps being taken by leading banks to travel the road to digitization, but one recent initiative by Bank of America’s Merrill division is especially noteworthy. Early this month, Merrill launched a new reporting tool called Digital Wealth Overview. Digital Wealth Overview is a three-minute, personalized, interactive video presentation narrated by Merrill’s AI chatbot, Erica. It offers a real time aggregated view of a client’s banking and brokerage accounts and allows for the client to consume the information at their own pace and to drill down in areas where more detailed information is desired.

Digital Wealth Overview does not replace the advisor, but it does function as a client-centric enablement tool that deepens engagement by being accessible, interactive through natural language and responsive on the client’s terms. It also is a first step to bringing the bank/brokerage branch experience to the customer digitally as ancillary services are added to the platform.

While the Digital Wealth Overview tool will give Merrill a competitive edge for the moment, we expect other leading banks/brokerages to up their digital game as they strive to enhance their clients’ digital journeys.