US Financial Industry Insights
Of the 11 banks researched, five have announced new products kicking off in March/April. These are Bank of America with Financial Life Benefits, Wells Fargo with products specifically for DACA recipients, and Citi Bank with a Payment HUB for insurance. Bank of the West will be introducing corporate cards for emerging growth companies and small multinationals, and Ally's acquisition of Cardworks will allow them to launch a new credit card platform later this year (date unknown).
Bank of America
- Bank of America recently announced and is ramping up to deliver "Financial Life Benefits" (trademarked). This is a suite of workplace benefits and solutions being offered to the bank's corporate clients' employees.
- The package includes 401(k), health care savings, equity compensation, and non-qualified deferred compensation plans.
- A recent Bank of America report stated that 53% of companies that offer benefits include financial wellness programs. That is twice as many as four years ago. These offerings include online financial tools for budgeting and debt management, as well as advice from financial planners.
- More than half the working population struggles with financial issues. When companies help their employees find financial stability, they can leave employees feeling more stable, which can boost worker engagement and productivity.
- Bank of America's new product is available to their mid-size and large corporate clients and will provide:
- A range of solutions and guidance for employees, including providing discounts on mortgages and checking and savings account. The program also offers "financial education for every stage of an employee's life." These offerings include personalized wealth management.
- The bank is offering on-site workshops, one-on-one consultations, access lending, and small business banking specialists, local financial centers, to meet with Merrill advisors. It also has an award-winning call center.
- The bank is investing heavily in technology to help employees navigate their financial lives. They have reimagined their digital capabilities and are providing a single interface with AI-driven personalized content.
- The bank is expanding their stable of employee benefit specialists who will continue to work with local Merrill financial advisor teams. As a result, the program "will closely align with the company's commercial banking relationship managers."
- Bank of America has "more than 25,000 financial advisors and specialists, 4,300 financial centers across the country, a Preferred Rewards program, and award-winning digital banking and investing capabilities."
- "Today, 40 percent of large and mid-size companies in the U.S. have a corporate banking relationship with Bank of America, including 95 percent of the U.S. Fortune 1,000, in addition to 3 million small business owners. "
- Wells Fargo is planning to expand its credit offering to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. These products will include education loans, credit cards; personal lines and loans; auto loans; and small business credit. Wells Fargo will also provide mortgage and home equity loans to eligible DACA customers.
- Wells Fargo will roll-out "the new product offerings in phases starting in the first half of 2020 and continuing into the first quarter of 2021."
- This program was developed with the ongoing engagement of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). They provided significant insight into the financial needs of these young individuals.
- Wells Fargo plans to make this expanded credit offering available in the coming months. They have defined this initiative as part of their "continuing commitment to provide responsible lending" and to expand their "financial support and partnership for the many diverse communities" they serve."
Citi National Bank
- Citi National Bank has partnered with Exactuals to provide a new product called "PaymentHub for Insurance".
- The platform provides "commission and compensation payment processing, deep analytics capabilities, and online engagement tools for insurance carriers, brokers, third-party administrators (TPAs), provider networks, and producers."
- PaymentHub is easy to use, comprehensive and feature-rich. It is an automated system that eliminates the need for paper checks and reporting.
- Users can "process global payments through operating accounts at Los Angeles-based City National Bank." The bank purchased Exactuals in 2018 and has been working with the firm to serve more clients in the entertainment industry.
- Linda Duncombe, executive vice president and chief marketing, product and digital officer at City National Bank, said: "PaymentHub for Insurance is another significant way we can use innovative technologies to strengthen our relationships with clients and provide them with better, faster and more customized service."
Bank of the West
- Bank of the West has partnered with Brex and announced a co-branded corporate card with no security deposit and no requirement for a U.S. credit history.
- The purpose of this product is to support the bank's focus on providing enhanced business solutions for its commercial clients
- This card supports the recent launch of the Bank's Innovation Hub, which offers dedicated banking services for startups."
- The new product will deliver innovative payment options, including underwriting, expense management, and reward features to the bank's clients.
- Startup commercial clients will receive premium rewards, easy card issuance and expense management, as well as automatic receipt capture.
- Bank of the West tested the concept with a pilot program. In response to the customer demand, Bank of the West will roll out the product more broadly to its North American commercial clients.
- Ally's long-term strategic objective is to "provide a comprehensive suite of compelling, differentiated financial services products" for their customers.
- The acquisition of CardWorks is expected to diversify the bank's product offerings. It adds "an established credit card platform, full-spectrum servicing and recovery operation, and a nationwide merchant acquiring business."
- This transaction means Ally will provide over 11 million customers in 50 states with well-designed secured and unsecured banking products.
The Remaining Banks
- Chase, Citi Bank, Capital One, First Republic Bank, SDCCU, and Marcus have no new products announced.