Mobile Monitor Report Excerpt – Merrill Lynch Mobile Account Information

by on Mar 19, 2013

The following is an excerpt from our most recent Mobile Monitor report titled Account Information: Key Data at Clients’ Fingertips. Mobile Monitor subscribers can access the full report by logging in to the CI Client site, scrolling over the Mobile tab and clicking Reports.

Overall, Merrill Lynch offers a strong mobile account information experience, although there are noticeable differences between iPhone, Android and iPad apps as well as the new mobile site (although there are fewer discrepancies between Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management apps). Some apps offer account value and allocation charts, or customizable displays that can include account information modules. Balance information includes most key data, although no day change is provided and the firm does not differentiate between different types of funds availability. All apps offer a deep, filterable transaction history as well.

Smartphone Apps
Merrill’s apps for the iPhone (but not Android) bring logged-in clients to a customizable homepage. There are several account-related modules that can be included – My Portfolio, Largest Holdings and Recent Activity – alongside market information.

 

 Merrill Lynch iPhone App Homepage
Merrill Lynch iPhone App Homepage
Clients can proceed to the portfolio summary section for more information. The main screen provides the total value of all accounts and then lists accounts grouped by category, either default or as set up by the client online. Clients with a Bank of America relationship can view those balances as well. From there, clients can move to details for a single account, category or all accounts.

This display consists of three screens – Holdings, Balances and Activity. The Holdings screen groups positions by type, e.g., Money Accounts, Stocks & Related, Mutual Funds. The holdings table presents symbol and name with two columns at a time to the right. By default, these show quantity and price, but users can tap the header by the small arrowhead to load day change, value and gain/loss ($ or %). On the Android, this display is more fluid with horizontal swipe controls instead of making users tap on a small, poorly-defined area; clients can also sort by any column. Each holding links to a security details screen with position information (total value, quantity, unrealized gain/loss and held since) with quote data also readily available.

 

 

Portfolio Summary   Holdings Details   Holdings Details   Security Details Screens
Merrill Lynch Apps (Left to Right):  Portfolio Summary, Holdings Details (iPhone & Android) and Security Details Screens
On the Android, tilting to landscape mode in the account information section loads a more complete view of the holdings table showing more columns at once. On the iPhone, though, it presents charts – historical account value going back one year, and an asset allocation pie chart. While helpful, these graphs may be overlooked by clients.

 

 

Historical Total Value   Asset Allocation Charts
Merrill Lynch iPhone App (Left to Right): Historical Total Value and Asset Allocation Charts
The Balances screen provides good detail including total balance, priced investments, cash and money account value, pending activity, margin, income and dividends, and unrealized and realized gain/loss. The Activity table lists pending and completed transactions grouped under date headings. For each transaction, data includes type, description and amount. Clients can link to full details including account, symbol, quantity and price as well. The history can be filtered by pre-set time frames going back up to two years. Activity types can also be checked or unchecked, letting clients search across multiple categories simultaneously.

 

For more information on the full Account Information: Key Data at Clients’ Fingertips report or our Mobile Monitor research service, contact Grace Lei at 212-832-2002 x-111 or glei@corporateinsight.com.