Bank of America is hailing record usage of its virtual financial assistant service, Erica. The first widely available virtual financial assistant launched in 2018. It took four years to reach 1 billion interactions. Since then, client engagement has surged, reaching a second billion 18 months later.

“Erica acts as both a personal concierge and mission control for our clients,” said Nikki Katz, Head of Digital at Bank of America. “Erica meets clients where they are and when they need us, and has become a true guide by their side.”

Erica’s capabilities have expanded to support individual and corporate clients across the banking group. This includes Merrill, Benefits OnLine, and the CashPro platform.

“Erica is a great example of applied innovation in language processing and predictive analytics to deliver a valuable and empowering client experience,” added Hari Gopalkrishnan, CIO and Consumer, Business & Wealth Management Technology executive at Bank of America.

To date, Erica has responded to 800 million inquiries from over 42 million clients. And it has provided personalised insights and guidance over 1.2 billion times.

Bank of America: Erica highlights

Out of more than 30 proactive insights Erica provides to clients, top insights include:

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  • Monitoring and managing recurring subscriptions – 2.6 million per month
  • Helping clients understand spending behaviours – 2.2 million per month
  • Keeping clients informed about deposits and refunds – 2.1 million per month
  • When clients ask Erica for assistance, common inquiries include requesting an account number or routing number – 1.7 million per month, finding transactions – 1.5 million per month and assistance with money transfers and bill pay – 900,000 per month.

Bank of America says that over 98% of clients get answers they need from Erica within 44 seconds, on average. When further assistance is needed, Bank of America’s Mobile Servicing Chat capability connects clients with a live representative who can answer more complex servicing questions.

Erica aims to foster a personal relationship with clients

Erica has sent birthday wishes to over 7,000 clients since launch. The service also claims to possess a sense of humour. It has shared more than 30 jokes with clients 49,000 times to date. For instance, “What did the duck say to the bartender? Put it on my bill.”

On a more serious note, in February 2024, Erica helped clients get the most out of their next coffee date. Specifically, it alerted customers to the new partnership between Bank of America and Starbucks.

“Our data science team has made more than 50,000 updates to Erica’s performance since launch. Adjusting, expanding and fine-tuning natural language understanding capabilities, ensures answers and insights remain timely and relevant,” said Katz. “2 billion client interactions is a compelling milestone though this is only the beginning for Erica.”