Bank of America is giving free trades to its most loyal members, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The bank will expand the eligibility for free trades on stocks and exchange-traded funds to the upwards of 5.25 million customers enrolled in the bank's preferred rewards program. Bank of America released a statement saying that its rewards customers – who can trade for free with the Merrill Edge online service – make up combined assets of around $425 billion.
Aron Levine, the firm’s head of consumer banking and Merrill Edge, said the company wants to give customers more benefits as their business increases.
“It’s a massive number of our clients that have access and ability to leverage this program,” he said.
Bank of America said it wants to spend $250 million over four years on digital services that will serve high-money customers, like advice tools and financial planning. That’s in addition to the $250 million investment it has already spent in the last four years.
Earlier this month, Bank of America said that its Zelle P2P payments increased 97 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, signaling the latest burst of growth for that payment method. During that quarter, consumers made 52 million payments worth $14 billion via Zelle.
In its Q4 2018 financial release, Bank of America shared updates on its mobile and digital efforts. The bank said 27 percent of all consumer transactions came through digital channels during that period, and that 49 percent of all digital transactions came via mobile. Those figures represent growth from the third quarter. During that period, according to the bank, digital transactions accounted for 23 percent of all consumer banking sales in the third quarter.
In all, Bank of America now has 36.3 million active digital banking users, along with 26.4 million active mobile banking users, an increase of 9 percent. The earnings report also said that 4.8 million consumers have completed 23 million “interactions” with Erica since the late 2016 launch of the financial institution’s virtual assistant.