Bank Branches Remains Important For More Than Account Openings

by Karen Augustine 0

According to a recent survey by Novantas, 60 percent of Americans would still rather open a new checking account in person at a bank branch than on a phone, tablet or desktop computer. They conclude that consumers feel more secure with full service banks that have branches nearby so they can use them when needed, and particularly when opening a new account, despite the fact that more people are banking online and by mobile and need to visit branches less frequently.

 “Folks are still hanging onto this comfort of feeling like there is a branch nearby if, and when, they need it. Never mind that they are going to branches less often. The findings show that banks that can afford to keep branch offices still have an advantage over online upstarts when signing new customers for primary accounts. Still, because Americans, and particularly younger adults, are doing more everyday transactions by phone, JPMorgan and Bank of America can build fewer traditional branches in new territories than would have been needed in the past.”

The bank branch remains an integral part of consumers’ banking experience. Mercator Advisory Group’s latest banking and delivery channels survey conducted in November 2017 reveals that 71% of consumers have visited the branch teller within the past year, and remains the most popular method of communication and the single most preferred method, followed by accessing a mobile banking app on a smartphone and ATMs. Our findings also show that consumers are just as likely to prefer to find out about relevant new products and services from their financial institutions in person as by email.

The latest findings from our upcoming report on branch and omnichannel banking show that consumers, particularly young adults and mobile banking users are returning to the branch to open new accounts, especially when opening checking accounts as fewer are opened their most recent account online and by mobile. Mobile account opening may not be as easy and convenient as consumers have hoped for. In fact, 26% of those who opened new bank accounts within the previous 12 months said that applications for new products and services from their bank always or often require them to reenter data the bank should already know about them. Consumers who opened their accounts by mobile are nearly twice as likely as average to say so.

For more information on the Mercator Advisory Group CustomerMonitor Survey Series reports, please go to www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/PrimaryData.

Overview by Karen Augustine, Manager, Primary Data Services

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