B of A keeps growing its Summerlin digital center

As banking online and on mobile devices reaches record levels, Bank of America continues to beef up its employment at its Summerlin digital contract center.

The company hired 250 employees in 2015 and 50 this year at the center for a total of 400 employees that focus on complex online and mobile banking issues. Bank of America said more than 33 million customers use mobile and online banking around the world.

These digital service specialists serve customers throughout the world and handle more than 200,000 unique customer calls per month ranging from everyday banking questions, 24-hour service for lost and stolen debit cards, and support for hearing-impaired customers, according to Bank of America.

During the first quarter of 2016, more than 163,000 accounts were opened through mobile devices and customers deposited more than 23 million checks, representing 16 percent of total deposits. Customers made more than 24 million mobile bill payments, up 29 percent year over year, and made more than 70 million transfers.

“We’ve tripled the investment in our mobile banking platform,which has led to real jobs in Southern Nevada as a way to make banking convenient and simplified for our customers,” said Al Welch, Las Vegas president of Bank of America.

Web site improvements

Nevada State Bank marketing director Micah Phillips said the bank will relaunch its website this year to focus on keeping it clean, simple, intuitive and accessible. The website uses a 12-point font that can be increased to make it easier to read. Colors also make it easier as well, he said.

Phillips said half of Nevada State Bank’s mobile users are older than 50, which dispel the notion that millennials are the prime users. Nevada State Bank has 49 branches and will add a 50th in the state this year, he said.

“We still see the relevance in some of the old school,” Phillips said. “We know there are clients who like to come and do business in person.”

With seniors continuing to relocate to Southern Nevada to retire, it’s important to focus on them, Phillips said.

Nevada State Bank this year held a seminar on Social Security benefits strategies. Newsletters have focused on safe banking initiatives, and bank tellers are trained to prevent seniors from being scammed.

“It’s a crowd we’re not interested in abandoning,” Phillips said. “It’s a crowd that’s important to us.”

If seniors are so important, should anybody consider opening a bank catering to them?

“That would be good,” Tynan said. “The millennials are looking for an Amazon bank and eBay bank because they give much better services than a traditional bank. They’re willing to change. The boomers aren’t looking for eBay Bank or Apple Bank. They just want personal service, and they tend to get it if they stick to community institutions.”

Luxury makes rebound

Nevada State Bank’s high-net-worth segment, known as The Private Bank, released its High Net Worth Report that talks about a rebound in luxury home prices.

The report, using stats by research group Applied Analysis, focused on the rebound of the median price for homes measuring 4,500 square feet and larger.

In 2007, before the housing market tumbled, a home that measured 5,240 square feet had a median price of $1.33 million or $254 per square foot. There were 405 homes measuring at least 4,500 square feet that were sold, the report said.

The market hit its low in 2012 with a median price per square foot of $103. A 5,120-square-foot home had a median price of $525,000, the report said. The lower prices bolstered sales with 671 transactions.

By 2015, the median price rose to $177 per square foot, the highest since 2007. A 5,100-square-foot home had a median price of $900,000. With prices increasing, there were 483 sales in 2015.

Among the reasons for the decrease in sales is the fact that owners did not have to sell. Some 88 percent of those 2015 sales were non-distressed compared to 31 percent in 2009 when the housing market collapsed, the report said. More than 460 resale luxury homes in Southern Nevada are listed for sale at $1 million or more with a median list price of $1.6 million, the report said.

Credit union awards grants

Mountain America Credit Union partnered with the Nevada Parent Teacher Association to award $300 grants to 10 teachers in Nevada.

The 2016 Mountain America Credit Union Grants were financial awards based on an essay about the teacher’s plans to use the grant money for programs in their K-12 classrooms, said Spencer Carver, development manager at Mountain America.

The 10 teachers representing five Nevada schools were recognized at Nevada PTA’s Silver Star Banquet. According to applicant essays, the money will be used for classroom and lesson enhancements including updated technology, equipment, supplies, and more, Carver said.

“We all benefit when teachers are better equipped to educate our youth. We appreciate our partnership with Nevada PTA,” Carver said. “Teachers don’t get enough recognition for their hard work and dedication to students.”

Nevada PTA President Dave Flatt said that with the grants, the teachers are able to implement new and innovative programs in their classrooms that they would otherwise have had to pay for out of their own pockets.

Bank of Nevada scholar

Marcelle Cruzado, a graduate of Southwest Career &Technical Academy (SWCTA), is the recipient of the Bank of Nevada Forward Together Scholarship and will pursue a degree in business in the fall at UNLV, the bank announced.

Cruzado was among 34 applicants for the scholarship which is awarded to an SWCTA student based on academic skill, grade point average, community service and essay. The $3,000 scholarship was presented at the Public Education Foundation Scholarship Recognition Luncheon.

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