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BofA (BAC) Boosts Digitization, Unveils Digital Debit Card

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Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) recently introduced a new digital feature, under which, its clients will be offered a digital debit card that can be used to make payments or access ATMs, until the physical card arrives.

The feature is available for new checking account customers, and for existing customers who misplace a physical card. Usually, clients would typically have to wait for about a week for the new card to arrive. 

David Tyrie, head of advanced solutions and digital banking, said, “With our new digital debit card, clients can transact immediately and avoid waiting for their permanent card. This feature is one of several new digital offerings that reinforce our commitment to making clients’ financial lives easier.”

Further, the Wall Street biggie is expected to introduce a new facility — Mobile Orders. This will allow its clients travelling internationally to order foreign currency and have it delivered to their home. Also, the company said that clients will be able to track delivery and receive notifications through the mobile app.

Further, the feature will be of use to small business clients as they can preorder bills and coins in the required currency. 

BofA’s progress in its firm-wide digital transformation strategy — the High-Tech, High Touch approach — is impressive. The company’s AI financial advisor – Erica – completed a year in June 2018. During the period it catered more than 50 million requests for 7 million users. Notably, BofA plans to continue expanding and refining Erica’s capabilities.

Further, in February, the companyintroduced new digital tools for small businesses to make management of various financial aspects easier. Clients with a business deposit account will be eligible to use Business Advantage 360 that provides a complete view of business cash flow and access to real-time expertise and guidance.

Also, its digital payments service – Zelle – has been making its presence felt with roughly 5.4 million users(as of Mar 31, 2019). Further, BofA is planning to expand to new cities, open nearly 500 new financial centers and redesign 2,500 centers with technology upgrades by 2021.

Thus, the company’s efforts to bolster consumer banking unit with introduction of such enhanced digital offerings bode well.

However, dismal performance of capital markets amid tough operation backdrop has been hurting investment banking and trading operations, which in turn will mar top-line growth. Also, litigation issues linger.

Shares of BofA have lost 1.7% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 3.5%.

Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the finance space are M&T Bank Corporation (MTB - Free Report) , BankUnited (BKU - Free Report) and First Business Financial Services (FBIZ - Free Report) . All these stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the past 60 days, M&T Bank witnessed slight upward earnings estimate revision for 2019. The company’s shares have rallied 17.7% in the past six months.

In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for BankUnited’s current-year earnings has been revised 1.1% upward. Its shares have inched up 11.5% in the past six months.

First Business has witnessed upward earnings estimate revision of 10.5% for 2019 in the past 60 days. The stock has jumped 23.1% in the past six months.

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