Zelle peer-to-peer (P2P) payments increased 76 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2019, Bank of America said on Wednesday (Jan. 15), marking the latest growth surge for that payment method. During the quarter, consumers made 95 million payments worth $23.8 billion using Zelle.
In its Q4 financial release, Bank of America also gave updates on its mobile and digital efforts. The financial institution said 29 percent of all consumer sales were digital and 53 percent of all digital sales came via mobile. As it stands, Bank of America now has 38.3 million active digital banking users, along with 29.2 million active mobile banking users.
In a call with analysts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said the company surpassed 10 million clients using Erica, which he described as the bank’s “industry-leading consumer AI [artificial intelligence] agent.”
According to the bank, total Erica users since its launch in April 2018 stood at 10.3 million. In Q3, the bank reported having 9 million Erica users since the rollout. And, across the firm’s commercial, corporate and business banking businesses, the number of CashPro® Online users stands at approximately 500,000.
Digital also played a role in consumer mortgage applications, with 45 percent of those applications coming in via digital channels in Q4. Sixty-one percent of total direct auto applications came from digital.
For its payment and debit card business, Bank of America said total credit and debit spend reached $167.2 billion for U.S. consumer cards. Average outstanding balances stood at $95 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 for U.S. consumer cards. The bank’s provision for credit losses was $934 million.
Moynihan noted that the fourth quarter reflected “a strong finish to close out 2019” and that the firm’s earnings results reflected the strength of the U.S. consumer. He said that the company continues to be well positioned in driving market share gains with excellent service and capabilities. But he noted that the quarter was also one of transition from a time of rising rates in 2018 to one that is traversing the impact of the decline in rates in the second half of 2019.
Overall, Bank of America reported net income of $7 billion, or 74 cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter.