Online banking, until fairly recently, basically mean that you could make payments online, transfer money and check your account balance. It almost sounds quaint now, but at one time this was actually sort of exciting. You didn’t have to pick up the phone or drive to the bank, you’d just pop open your web browser and take a look. It was a minor convenience, something that made life just a little bit easier, but it was new, and it was kinda cool. Of course, people expect much more from apps and websites now than they did five, ten years ago.
The Bank of America mobile app is of a new breed of online banking app. There are still some things that you can do in person that you can’t do with the app, but what you can do from the app is actually a bit surprising. For many users, the banking app from BoA might mean that you never have to wait in line at the bank ever again. For more users than not, the BoA app effectively functions like a bank in your pocket.
Bank of America Mobile App Features: In-App Auto-Financing
A recently-added feature that should help to illustrate exactly how capable the app really is: The in-app auto-financing. It’s an all-in-one car-shopping feature. It would be impressive enough if you could just get some quotes and information from the app based on the car you’re buying, but it really does do everything that you need to do when you buy a car, including actually taking the loan out to finance the purchase. You don’t need to set one foot in the bank or call anyone to get a car financed. It simply crunches the numbers and signs you up for a payment plan.
But more than that, the auto financing feature lets you do the car shopping. This is where it gets really impressive. Gone are the days of scanning through free ad papers and browsing car lots. With the auto financing feature you can actually select the car you want, and the app will point you to local dealers who are participating with Bank of America and have the car in stock. From there you can head on down to the lot to take a test drive, finalize your sale with the dealer, and then do the paperwork and final signing through the app itself.
So, yes, you can now buy a car through your phone. We’ve come quite a long way from flip phones with Tetris and an email app on them. There is effectively nothing you can’t do with your phone these days. This isn’t the only standout feature on the BoA mobile app, but it is the feature that most effectively illustrates just how much you can get done with your phone. You might not be in the market for a car right now, but there are plenty of other features on the app that might be of interest to you.
All The Stuff You Expect from The Bank of America Mobile App
Of course, in all this talk of fancy new innovative features, it should be noted that the BoA app does do everything you’d expect a banking app to do. It covers the basics. In this day and age it might not be exciting anymore, but it is necessary for a banking app to be useful, not just packed to the gills with exciting and innovative features.
After all, how are you going to buy a car with your phone if you can’t easily check your balance to find out if you have enough for the down payment?
No sign in is required once you’re connected through the My Balance platform. You can just plug in and take a look at your balance and your recent transactions. See if payments have gone through and generally keep an eye on your financial comings and goings with ease. Again, this may not be the most exciting feature, but it is requisite for a useful bank app.
Sometimes it’s all about fundamentals, and fortunately the BoA app is built on solid fundamentals, it’s not just a flashy app designed to increase membership, it actually functions as a useful tool for anyone who does their banking with Bank of America.
- All kinds of payments and transfers are available. You can deposit checks using the app, you can transfer funds, you can pay your bills through your phone and on and on. You can also use the app to send payments to almost anyone if you have their email address or phone number. You don’t need to go through a whole complicated process, you don’t need to go down to the 7-11 and fill out a money order, you can just type in somebody’s email or phone number and send the money, and it’ll be there for them to collect. Simple as that.
- The BoA app has easy-access security features to keep your money safe. For instance, if you lose a card or your wallet is stolen, you can report it right through the app and have payments and transfers stopped on those cards. You can also a replacement card through the app, so if something does happen, you can manage the situation entirely from your phone, canceling your stolen card and replacing a new one all between sips of coffee.
- There are some great credit features on the app. You can receive credit card rewards through the app, and you can check your FICO score at any moment. There was a time when checking your credit score was a bit of a scam. You’d sign up for a “free” credit check and next thing you know they’d be taking five dollars out of your account every single month. That’s not something you need to worry about when you can just hit a button and find out what your credit score is.
- If you really do need to come into the bank in person, you can schedule an appointment through the app. No need to make a call, just book your appointment, and cancel it if need be, from your phone. These features may not be the “exciting” ones, but they are what make the app such a handy tool in managing your finances. All of the basic functions that used to require a trip across town to the bank, you can now manage through your phone. You can do your banking in the bath tub if you’re not worried about getting your phone wet (try sealing it up in a plastic zipper bag if you want to waterproof it).
Is Signup Easy?
Obviously, when you have an app that has this many features, you can expect that signup may be… a bit of an ordeal. That’s a lot of information to put in during the registration process. It’s for your protection, sure, but it can still be a bit of a headache.
The good news is that any information you need, you have access to. You may want to keep a web browser open on your laptop to go through emails and documents while signing up for the BoA app and registering with their database. There are a lot of numbers and details that you’ll need to keep handy throughout the process.
You probably won’t need to actually make a trip to the bank to get all set up unless you find that they have some of your information saved incorrectly. As long as your bank’s information is accurate, you can do the sign up on your own time, from the comfort of your favorite chair.
What About Fees?
The app is free to download, but not entirely free to use. A number of actions available through the app do incur some fees. Wiring money will incur a fee, and so will certain transfers. There may also be wireless carrier fees involved. There may also be wireless carrier fees for banking app alerts and notifications, and there are fees involved in the replacement of credit cards, and wireless carrier fees may be incurred for updates from the FICO score program.
It is unfortunate that the app can become very expensive to use if you’re not keeping tabs on all of the fees you’re paying, but that kind of goes with the territory when working with banks. More often than not, if they’re in a position to collect a cut of the action, they’ll collect a cut of the action. You may have fewer fees involved when you manage most of your finances through a service like PayPal or a credit union, but good luck getting one of those groups to give you a car loan through your phone.
What About The Bank of America Mobile App Terms And Conditions?
Before signing up for anything like a banking app, you’ll want to take the time to read through all of the terms and conditions yourself. You never know exactly what it is that you’re signing up for until you read the service agreement. There are a few points you’ll want to know before signing up:
- Not all documents are available through the app. Some of them may require a visit to the bank or at least an email to someone at the company. Probably ninety percent of the information that you’ll need on an everyday basis is available through the app, but that ten percent can slow you down if you need it. Our advice: Before you put yourself in a situation where you’ll need that information, before you go sit down with the car dealer or talk to a mortgage broker, you’ll want to take a look to make sure that the information can be accessed through your phone, and if it can’t, you may want to print out a paper copy or get one from your bank.
- Wireless carrier fees may apply… to just about everything. It depends on your provider. But don’t assume that since the BoA offers a service for free that your wireless carrier won’t collect their fee.
- There may be additional signup processes. If you want to pay your bills through the app, for instance, you first have to enroll in the service. Thankfully that can be done through the app.
Overall, if you’re a customer at Bank of America, the app is a net positive. It makes a lot of things easier. The stuff it can’t do was stuff you had to come into the bank in person for in the first place, so there’s no reason not to download the app.
Of course that leaves another question: Is it worth switching to Bank of America just for the app?
Well, not really. A lot of what the BoA app does is par for course for leading banking apps. It’s reason enough to put BoA on your “maybe” list, but if you’re still shopping around for a bank, there are plenty who offer comparable apps.