New technologies are disrupting industries by driving more efficient ways for businesses and customers to interact. Industry leaders, such as Allstate Insurance Company, are harnessing this disruption by adopting innovative tools that help meet their customers’ changing expectations.
Allstate spotted an opportunity to speed claim disbursements by switching from paper to mobile payments. The company adopted Digital Disbursements from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), which enables Allstate’s customers to quickly receive funds via text message or email. The results? Higher customer-satisfaction scores and greater security.
TAKING A NEW APPROACH
Allstate started shifting away from checks in 2013, seeking greater efficiencies and reduced fraud. “We first began offering claims via ACH, but adoption was low since most customers didn’t know their routing and account numbers,” says Lynn Cirrincione, Allstate’s cash and banking director. Cirrincione reached out to BofAML about a payment method that would accomplish the company’s goals while making it easier for customers to receive funds.
BofAML's disbursements team recognized the power of Allstate’s opportunity. Having originally partnered with clearXchange, LLC, BofAML was already exploring ways to adapt the service for business clients when clearXchange was acquired by Early Warning Services, LLC and began its transformation into the Zelle Network®. Drawing on its history of payments innovation, the bank leveraged the clearXchange service -- which will soon become Zelle® -- to launch Digital Disbursements -- a fast, safe and easy way for companies to send money to almost anyone with a bank account in the U.S.
ENABLING MOBILE B2C PAYMENTS
Since 2011, millions of individuals have used clearXchange and Zelle to send money using just the recipient's email address or U.S. mobile number without the need to share bank-account details. With Digital Disbursements, BofAML helped Allstate become the first company to leverage the technology for business-to-consumer payments. After a successful pilot, Allstate began offering Digital Disbursements to all customers in 2015.
The process is easy to navigate. Allstate initiates a payment using the customer’s email address or U.S. mobile phone number. During a simple one-time enrollment, the customer links his or her bank account information to the email address or U.S. mobile phone number, through their bank or clearXchange.com. Funds arrive directly into the customer’s bank account to help them quickly get back on their feet. And since Zelle® maintains a record of the enrollment, customers only need to enroll once. All future payments to enrolled customers are completed automatically.
ACHIEVING MUTUAL BENEFITS
“We initially sought this solution to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce fraud, and Digital Disbursements has definitely helped with that,” notes Cirrincione. “But the positive customer response has been even greater than we expected. Our satisfaction scores are rising, and we attribute this largely to the speed and convenience of our mobile payment program.”
Being an early adopter places Allstate at the cutting edge, confirming its reputation for innovating on behalf of its customers. “Advances in tech have created the expectation for real-time connections and service, especially among millennials, who already use P2P networks and prefer text messages to phone conversations and face-to-face meetings,” Cirrincione concludes. “In the next few years, as this generation becomes a bigger part of our customer base, we expect these trends to accelerate.”
- Currently, more than 100 financial institutions have signed up to participate in the Zelle Network®
- Zelle is accessible to over 95 million mobile banking users nationwide
- In 2017, over 247 million transactions occurred via Zelle with a combined value of over $75 billion
Zelle enables companies and consumers to send money to almost anyone with a bank account in the U.S. Owned by Early Warning Services, LLC, a leader in fraud, risk, identity, authentication, and payment services, Zelle makes it fast, safe and easy to send money.
Zelle, clearXchange and the related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.
Case studies are for illustrative purposes only and intended to demonstrate the capabilities of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. You should not consider these case studies as an endorsement of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Case studies do not necessarily represent the experiences of other clients. Results may vary.