Bank of America customers are shifting toward digital tools. According to data released by the bank, supplementing its earnings call today, customers made more than 102 million transactions through Zelle, its peer-to-peer payments tool, during the first quarter of 2020.
Paul Donofrio, Bank of America’s chief financial officer, said in a statement that despite the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis, the bank “continued to invest in our people and our systems so we could deliver for consumers, small business owners and large corporate clients. We remain well-positioned to support our clients and deliver for all our stakeholders.”
The 102.3 million transactions the bank’s customers made via Zelle is up from 58.2 million during the first quarter of 2019. Bank of America customers sent $27 billion in volume through Zelle this quarter, up from $16 billion during the first quarter of last year. In total, the bank had 10.4 million customers use Zelle this quarter.
Zelle’s adoption is growing at a steady clip, but questions remain around the tool’s success. “A lot of BofA’s Zelle volume is simply a migration of existing account-to-account transfers to Zelle,” said Ron Shevlin, research director at Cornerstone Advisors, in a previous interview with Bank Innovation. “I doubt any of this volume reflects a shift from Venmo or Square to Zelle.”
Launched in 2017, Zelle isn’t the only digital tool the bank’s customers are adopting. According to Bank of America, its digital channels had more than 39 million active users this quarter, almost 30 million of them mobile users. Those numbers are up from 37 million and 27.1 million, respectively during the first quarter of 2019.
In its statement today, the bank also touched on its efforts to distribute Paycheck Protection Program loans on behalf of the Small Business Administration, saying the bank had received 279,000 PPP applications for a total of $43 billion by April 8.
“We are taking extraordinary steps to support our employees, clients and communities during this humanitarian crisis,” said Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan in a statement.