Bank of America (BofA) narrowly took the top spot for customer satisfaction among large banks in J.D. Power’s 2021 US Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study. The banking giant edged out rival JPMorgan Chase by just 1 point, scoring 871 versus its peer’s 870—the survey measures satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale.
BofA’s mobile ranking follows its brisk pace of innovation, as evidenced by its biggest-ever patent haul in 2020.
- The bank got approval for a record 444 US patents in 2020, making it the second-most prolific among its peers (behind Capital One) and outpacing its 418 filings from 2019.
- BofA’s patents emphasized security- and privacy-related technology, at 20% of filings, as well as AI and machine learning, which represented 19%. The bank focused on biometrics patents as a key space within its security category.
- Nearly 40% of BofA’s 2020 filings pertained to data analysis and protection. The bank’s security and privacy patent portfolio dovetails with its sizable spending on cybersecurity, which is now over $1 billion annually.
BofA’s top ranking may have been propelled by its strengths in two in-demand mobile feature categories examined in Insider Intelligence’s 2020 US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge survey of digital banking users:
- Security and Control: This class of features gives customers greater oversight of their information. The banking giant vaulted to first place in the category among the largest 25 surveyed US banks, up from 10th in 2019. It was also the only bank to support all seven features profiled—including a rarely offered yet highly demanded Security and Control tools. For example, it was among only 20% of surveyed banks to give customers the ability to track the status of their card transaction disputes, which 35% of respondents said was “extremely valuable.”
- Alerts: BofA also leaped into first place among the 25 surveyed banks for Alerts in 2020, up from eighth the year before. The bank offered two rare Alerts features, including being able to set alerts to find out when refunds from merchants are processed—it was supported by 36% of surveyed banks and called “extremely valuable” by 30% of respondents. Refund alerts can serve as useful tools for banks to engage with customers and to more quickly provide them with a peace of mind about their account balances.