The Zelle person-to-person payments service continues to boom for one of its biggest participants, Bank of America Corp., where transaction volume more than doubled in the first quarter.
BofA reported Tuesday that its customers sent or received 58.1 million Zelle transactions via email addresses or mobile-phone numbers, up 103% from 28.6 million in 2018’s first quarter. The value of the payments grew 81% to $16 billion from last year’s $9 billion.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank holding company reported it has 5.4 million active Zelle users, up 2.7 times from when the service launched in June 2017. BofA also is using Zelle for so-called business-to-consumer “digital disbursements,” a category in which volume grew 135% year-over-year. The bank didn’t disclose actual volume.
Zelle is provided to banks and payment processors through Early Warning Services LLC, a bank-owned technology and fraud-prevention firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Big banks have integrated their proprietary P2P payment services into the Zelle system. A surge in gift transactions on Zelle prompted JPMorgan Chase & Co. to create a feature allowing its mobile users to send digital gift cards.
In related tech news, BofA said 6.3 million users of Erica, its artificial-intelligence-based digital assistant, have used the service 39 million times since the service launched last year. The company reported having 27.1 million mobile-banking customers, up 9% from 24.8 million a year ago. BofA also said it had 16,011 ATMs as of March 31, and all of them could process contactless transactions. In 2018’s first quarter, 94% of BofA’s 15,125 ATMs at the time were contactless-enabled.
A leading debit card issuer, BofA reported first-quarter debit purchase volume of $78.5 billion, a 3% increase from $76.1 billion a year earlier. The company’s big U.S. credit card file posted volume of $62.8 billion in the first quarter, up 2% year-over-year from $61.3 billion.