Bank of America Senior Vice President Jorge Camargo is focused on delivering a high-tech, high-touch strategy to improve customer experiences.
The $3.1 trillion bank continues to invest in both tech talent and in the bank’s virtual assistant, Erica — an effort that Camargo has led.
Bank Automation News recently caught up with Camargo to discuss Erica and the bank’s digital strategy heading into 2023. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.
Bank Automation News: What is Bank of America’s innovation strategy for 2023?
Jorge Camargo: Understanding that the 2023 economic outlook is uncertain, it is crucial that financial institutions offer clients individualized banking solutions that evolve with their needs and lifestyle. These solutions should be personalized to each client and continue to change and evolve as their priorities do. We will continue investment in AI and automation in 2023. As adoption and engagement with Erica and other digital capabilities grows, we will continue to look at clients’ interactions and overall financial needs based on their current use to help inform our investments in new digital offerings.
BAN: How did AI enhancements improve Erica in 2022?
JC: Bank of America continues to expand and refine Erica’s capabilities to provide clients further insights and guidance on optimizing cash flow, managing debt, monitoring transactions, capitalizing on savings opportunities and balancing competing priorities to reach critical financial goals. In September 2022, we implemented Mobile Servicing Chat by Erica to connect clients with representatives to answer more complex servicing questions live, with more than 170,000 chats having already taken place.
We also integrated Erica’s capabilities further across all areas of our business, including the launch of Erica for Benefits online and the expansion of Erica’s expertise to include retirement-planning advice. We’re continuously enhancing Erica’s abilities; the latest example includes recognitions of many of the common searches we see on our online banking website.
BAN: Are automation improvements on the horizon for Erica?
JC: Our continued investment in Erica’s AI-powered capabilities enables us to quickly respond to voice, text chat, or on-screen interactions from clients who need assistance with financial transactions, while proactively delivering personalized insights and advice at key moments. Erica offers unique interactive insights on how to save money by paying down credit cards or notifying clients when recurring charges such as cell phone bills or subscriptions increase unexpectedly.
We continue to refine and automate our tuning process to ensure Erica continues to become smarter and the answers provided remain timely and relevant to our clients. Tuning is a continuous monitoring and retraining process that our team conducts in the background to guarantee Erica remains a state-of-the-art financial assistant.
BAN: How does the bank choose which upgrades to make for Erica?
JC: We’ve been on a journey of increasing Erica’s capabilities to reach all sectors of a client’s banking experience. Our team continuously reviews Erica client interactions and labels them to understand client needs and requests. Labeling is the process of mapping a client’s question or request to the resulting action Erica will perform. If any issues or opportunities for improvement are identified during the labeling process, our team uses those learnings to re-train the Erica AI model. This process is repeated thousands of times per year to ensure Erica continues to become smarter.
BAN: What new tech is on your radar for 2023?
JC: Bank of America invests over $3 billion on new technology initiatives each year. We are focused on being open, flexible and fast as we invest in state-of-the-art digital banking technology to help our clients easily and securely manage their finances. We’re always looking at innovations in technology and AI specifically that help to drive further automation at scale and deliver a safe and seamless client experience while keeping them in control of their information.
Applying data, AI and business intelligence to create tailored experiences with leading capabilities and relevant and timely information that empower our clients is at the center of everything we do. At Bank of America, we are dedicated to continuously improving our digital offerings, as well as listening to client feedback and data analytics to guide what’s working and how we can better our services.
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