Why BoA Isn’t After Its Own Mobile Wallet

While big banks rush to play catch up on the mobile payments side, it appears for now that Bank of America isn’t quite ready to push forward its own digital wallet.

Instead, based on a recent interview, Bank of America is after creating a larger digital wallet ecosystem.

“We want to be in an open wallet ecosystem,” Hari Gopalkrishnan, client-facing platforms technology CIO at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Bank Innovation. “It’s an open wallet strategy.”

That’s evident by its promotion for Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Visa Wallet on its digital wallet page showing that the bank wants to promote whatever digital payment option the consumer wants to use. After all, what Bank of America is focused on is getting consumers to use its cards to spend — regardless of which wallet it’s on.

What BoA has also been focused on is promoting Samsung Pay and Android Pay as a way to make contactless ATM withdrawals. That’s why instead of pushing a branded digital wallet, Bank of America wants to focus on the options already in the market

“How channels come together — a seamless bridge from mobile to the call center, for example — is critical,” Gopalkrishnan said in the interview. “The customer experience has to span channels, and our focus has to be not channels or products but customers.”

As for now, the priority for Bank of America is focused on two things: “New forms of authentication,” Gopalkrishnan said, and getting to top of wallet. Regardless of what type of wallet that is.