New Merrill Lynch apps the latest in mobile investment banking

Mar 21, 2011
Finance

Similar to the rise of online investment banking during the Internet boom of the late ‘90s, consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to manage and monitor their investment activities. Merrill Lynch earlier this month announced the launch of mobile banking applications for the iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry devices. Merrill Lynch, which was rolled into Bank of […]

Similar to the rise of online investment banking during the Internet boom of the late ‘90s, consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to manage and monitor their investment activities. Merrill Lynch earlier this month announced the launch of mobile banking applications for the iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry devices.

Merrill Lynch, which was rolled into Bank of America (BAC-PX) during the financial crises in September 2008, is the latest of an increasing number of investment banks to offer account services through mobile device applications. Merrill Edge and MyMerrill joined a host of iOS offerings which includes Chase Bank(JPM), Capital One (COF) and Citibank (C).

Bank of America and Chase Bank also offer Android mobile banking apps, and the iPad has additional capability compared to the other devices in the new Merrill Lynch apps.

Ben Steverman wrote about the trend in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek story, which cited a study by Forrester Research which estimated more than 10 million Americans use mobile banking technology, and forecasts more than 50 million consumers banking on mobile devices by 2015.

This compares to a rise in online banking in the previous decade when, in 2000, 14 million Americans — 17 percent of Internet users — had ever done any banking online, according to surveys taken in 2000 and 2002, completed by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

The Pew Research Center project found in a study published in 2005 that 53 million people — 44 percent of Internet users — said they use online banking. Of the major Internet activities tracked by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, online banking has grown the fastest, according to the organization’s website.

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Merrill Lynch clients can use the new apps to check balances and perform transactions anytime and anywhere. They can view their portfolio, holdings and account activity, according to the press release. App users may trade stocks, mutual funds ETFs and options in approved accounts. They can even track market news and customize their own watch lists, alerts and other online features.

The iPad apps offer more features including personalized dashboards and access to the latest research reports from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, according to the press release.

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