Bank of America’s Erica System Clears One Million User Mark

June 15, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It was just a couple months ago that Bank of America first tipped us off about the launch of the Erica system, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven system that gave users what amounted to a Siri for their banking needs. Now, new word has arrived that Erica is proving very popular, as she’s just seen her one millionth user come on board.

Erica operates as a voice-controlled search engine of sorts, able to carry out certain basic operations like finding a credit score, reviewing transaction history, and finding certain previous transactions. The system also has a Zelle connection, which allows users to send money to anyone who can use Zelle as well.

With the new milestone comes a retooling effort. Bank of America is planning several new features for its mobile app this week, including a direct chat link to customer service agents, and guides for new users who want to set up fingerprint ID systems and online statements.

A million users in two months is no mean feat, but Erica is still well behind the more established competitors. While Amazon’s Alexa has around 2.6 million users to its credit, Siri has over 10 times both systems’ figures at 41.4 million.

Still though, the fact that Erica has almost a third of the user base that Alexa enjoys after just two months of existence isn’t exactly a bad deal. No, it’s quite good; Erica gained a lot of ground rapidly. The question is, can Erica keep up anywhere near this pace of growth? If it can, it’s going to outstrip Alexa’s user base by the end of the year. It could be a threat to Siri’s own user base sometimes around 2020 or so.

Regardless of whether or not it breaches these milestones, the point remains: Erica is proving popular enough within Bank of America’s user base, and that’s good news going forward. It doesn’t need to be more popular than Siri, or even Alexa; it just needs to add sufficient value to Bank of America’s own processes and offerings to keep current users in the fold and maybe draw some new users in besides.