In an effort to promote its newly implemented Zelle money transfer service, Bank of America declared October 17 Pay Back a Friend Day, heavily promoting it through video and social media advertisements as well as interstitial login pages. The firm “holiday” continues its Zelle-related Friends Again marketing campaign that joins its recent Friends Again Report in portraying the service as a way to maintain friendships. A new Friends Again page serves as a hub for the campaign, detailing the service as well as collecting its promotional content, such as lighthearted videos about how Zelle helped save friendships.
Though the firm has invested significant resources into the campaign, none of its efforts provided incentives for clients to use the Zelle service. With 80% of Millennials already using PayPal and 21% already using Venmo, traditional financial institutions are playing catchup when it comes to instant, fee-free digital payment methods. In addition, while 53% of Bank Monitor coverage group firms have introduced Zelle integrations in the past year, no firm has made it clear enough that the platform isn’t unique to the firm and can be used with friends who have accounts at partner firms, a valuable trait that helps make Zelle as versatile as its competitors. More than decreasing friction in friendships, this point, along with the fact that Zelle is a quick, easy and free way to send money to anyone, needs to be repeated to break down the stronghold that PayPal and Venmo have on the money transfer market.
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