How Well Does Bank of America Help Me Manage My Money Online?

Customer Experience Audit of BoA's Capabilities to Help Customers with Financial Best Practices

August 18, 2011

Our latest customer experience audit of follows the customer scenario of “I want my bank to help me manage my money online and make smart money management choices.” The results: the Bank of America web site does a good job of helping customers manage their personal finances. It isn’t as good at helping them choose the right accounts for their needs. Use our findings to determine how well your company is doing to help your customers choose and manage your products and services to meet their needs.


Banking customers want to “manage their stuff” in the same ways that they do with any supplier. They want to be able to update their profiles and preferences, see their complete transaction history, manage their spend, categorize what they’ve spent money on, and have some control over the assumptions that the supplier makes in alerting them to special promotions it thinks might interest them.

However, retail banking customers also want their provider to help them achieve financial goals, understand all the implications underlying financial choices, encourage them to learn and adhere to personal money management best practices, and to be forgiving when they slip up.

The concept of helping your customer with best practices is applicable to all businesses, not just banks. Use this CX Audit as fodder for ideas about enhancing your own company’s ability to help your customers make good decisions.

Single View of Accounts

Single View of Accounts

Single View of Accounts

© 2011 Bank of America and Patricia Seybold Group

Illustration 1. When you log into your personal banking area on, you are presented with a list of all your accounts and their balances. Note that, in many of the illustrations in this article, we are hiding the financial details to protect “Jeremy” and his family.



What Kind of Assistance Does Bank of America Provide to Help You Manage Your Finances?

As most of us are dealing with the financial challenges of an uncertain economic climate, more and more of us are looking for help in making sure we are doing the smart thing with our personal finances. We tested how well one of the largest U.S. retail banks, Bank of America (BoA), does at supporting a customer with the following scenario: I want my bank to help me manage my money online and make smart money management choices.

In this customer experience, our customer persona is Jeremy, a working husband (to Rita) and father (to Donnie, 5). Although Jeremy’s job as a property manager is secure, for the time being, he is concerned about finances and is aware that he hasn’t been paying enough attention to whether he and Rita are spending their money wisely. He also knows that he has no time to spend talking with an advisor at a local branch, so he wants to be able to find out what he needs to know, what he should be doing, and to make appropriate changes all from his online account. His wish list for things he wants to be able to do are listed in Table A.

Steps in the Scenario

The steps that Jeremy wants to take to better manage his personal finances are listed in Table A. We will follow those steps to see how well supports Jeremy in achieving his goal.

I Want My Bank to Help Me Manage My Money Online and Make Smart Choices

Step I Want to Take:

I want to be sure I’m getting the best return on the money I have invested in the bank.

Related Steps:

I want to be assured that I am getting the best possible rates offered for each account type.

I want to see how these rates compare to national standards for people with my banking balances.

I want to know what would be the best accounts for my family to earn the highest interest and incur the lowest fees with the lowest possible minimum balances.

Step I Want to Take:

I want to assistance in better managing my money

Related Steps:

I want tips and advice on best practices in managing my family finances.

I want to be able to categorize my transactions.

I want a list of categories to choose from.

I want to create my own categories.

I want to see what we have spent by category.

I want to easily identify tax-deductible expenses.

I want to maintain info on all my accounts at all banks in one place.

I want to better understand my spending patterns.

I want help creating and sticking to a budget.

Step I Want to Take:

I want assistance in managing cash flow.

Related Steps:

I want to be warned if I’m in danger of an overdraft.

I want overdraft forgiveness for the first time it happens every year.

I want overdraft protection.

I want low interest on ...

© 2011 Patricia Seybold Group Inc.

Table A. These are the steps that Jeremy wants to take to reach his goal of managing his money and making smart banking choices with Bank of America.

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