Many investors think of the financial sector as a battleground between traditional banks and fintech disruptors. But we're not so sure. In this October 19, 2020 Fool Live video clip, Industry Focus: Financials host Jason Moser and Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, talk about one big bank in particular that could be a big winner in the war on cash.
Jason Moser: I like this. "I was really impressed with BAC's -- that's Bank of America's (NYSE:BAC) -- digital banking trends. What are your thoughts on that? Also, was it a stock I recently added to my list? Also, it was a stock that I recently added to my last week."
I'm not sure if BK is saying they added to it or added it to their watch list, but either way, let's start with the digital banking trends. What are your thoughts on those?
Matt Frankel: Yeah, so this is just like what I was just talking about, how the Bank of America is succeeding in the war on cash. Digital banking has been a big growth area there. They've been prioritizing digital banking before most of the other big four. Back when Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) was just focused on cross-selling products to customers, they were worried about building up their online and digital presence, because doing transactions digitally is a lot cheaper than doing them with a teller. Doing a mobile deposit, for example, is roughly one-tenth the cost of a teller-assisted deposit for the bank.
So as their digital banking use compounds -- which right now, it's looking pretty good -- it's built into an even a bigger cost advantage for Bank of America. I'm impressed with their digital banking progress over the past few years. I mean, take what's happening during COVID with a grain of salt. Like, people who want to go to a bank but can't, are adopting mobile. You're going to see a spike higher than you would normally see with a lot of these banks.
Jason Moser: Things will normalize when time goes back.
Matt Frankel: Right. Things will normalize, but Bank of America's trends have been going in the right direction for years. So I think they're going to be one of the winners of the war on cash.
Jason Moser: Yeah. I tend to agree. I go all the way back to when I worked there in 2001, I guess or something. I was there for, I guess, a couple of years, two and a half years. It was right before we left to go to Egypt.
I was a loan officer there, and I just even realized back then, I mean, this was before anybody had iPhones, but the investments they were making in technology even then were plain to see. We had our own little lending platform there online and people were coming to want refinance. We had this thing called loan solutions. That was an internal system that we used. It was really, for the time, very cutting-edge and when we went overseas for that stretch of time, having access to our Bank of America accounts online was invaluable, and it's only gotten better.
You do get to a point, clearly where you maybe don't even really think about the bank you're with and you're just like, "Well, it'd be more difficult to switch everything over. So I'm just going to stick with them and not worry about it." I agree with that. I think there is something to that. I will also say that I'd probably stick with Bank of America anyway just because, really frankly, the technology is just really good, and it sounds like that's where Brian Moynihan's head's at. I like that quote on the call where he said operational excellence, it's a top priority, and it seems like it's paying off for the business.
Obviously, the stock hasn't had the greatest year, but I think that's a bit more market related and less Bank of America specific. Yeah, kudos to them for the investments in digital. It seems like it's working out.