Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C., has entered into a strategic alliance with account aggregation software firm Yodlee, Redwood City, Calif.
The bank will take an equity stake as the lead investor in the fourth round of equity funding for Yodlee, which has over 130 businesses signed up for inclusion in its new aggregation platform.
Consumers can use account aggregation services to create an integrated view of their finances by gathering account data from other financial institutions for display on a single screen. Services will also include a consolidated view of frequent flier miles and other loyalty programs, along with access to news, e-mail and various financial planning tools.
The Yodlee deal with Bank of America, which has 3.7 million customers using its existing online service, helps to propel account aggregation technology further into the mainstream.
The deal also helps to inoculate BofA against having its customers become accustomed to using account aggregation services offered by other banks or by third parties.
To entice its customers to sign up for aggregation services through the bank, Bank of America will "prepopulate" the Yodlee dashboard with information about existing BofA accounts, whether banking, brokerage, credit card or mortgage.
"If you're a Bank of America customer with online banking, all of your Bank of America accounts will automatically be aggregated into the service," said Linda Mueller, a Bank of America spokeswoman. "They're more likely to use the service if their accounts are prepopulated."
After the initial implementation, Bank of America will work towards making the experience more tailored to the customer. "As the site evolves and we work together with Broadvision a Redwood City, Calif. provider of customization software working with BofA, we'll be able to ask the customer what they're most interested in," said Mueller. "It will help us to better understand our customer base and to make more appropriate offers to them."
The account aggregation platform will be available to Bank of America customers later in the year. Users will not be charged for the service.