Australian customers are using bank branches less according to new figures from Roy Morgan that show the average number of visitors dropping almost 30 per cent from 2014 to 2018.

In four years the average amount of people visiting a bank branch has dropped from 4.73 million people in 2014 in the six months to October in to 1.77 million this year in the same time period.

These figures are the result of customers turning to their smartphones to conduct their banking.

In October 2014, 5.66 million or 29.3 per cent of bank customers used mobile banking in an average four week period. This has grown to 9.18 million or 44.7 per cent in October 2018. A massive 62.2 per cent increase.

Internet banking remains the most popular channel at 47.1 per cent, however it has declined from 52.3 per cent in 2014. Roy Morgan predicts internet banking will be surpassed by mobile banking in the next year or so.

Phone banking is on the decline dropping from 16.1 per cent to 13.6 per cent in four years.

roy morgan banking graph
Major Banking Channels used in the last 4 weeks: Source Roy Morgan

The results show millennials are the leaders in mobile banking with 63.4 per cent using the service compared to only 19.8 per cent using branches.

Over three million Millennials or 36.4 per cent make up the total mobile banking market. This is well above generation Z with 2.41 million or 26.3 per cent of the market and generation X with 2.26 million or 24.6 per cent.

Older customers still use bank branches with 38.1per cent of pre-boomers and 29.8 per cent of baby boomers using them over an average four week period. These are the only two generations where branches are still preferred to mobile banking.

The figures also show that mobile banking use increases with household income. From the results 63.4 per cent of mobile banking users had a household income of $150k pa and over. Compared to 25.3 per cent where incomes are under $40k pa.

Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan said, “The switch to mobile banking has been a result of rapid technological change, reinforced by high satisfaction levels with this relatively new way of dealing with banks.

“Satisfaction with mobile banking is the highest of all banking channels with 89.2 per cent, compared to branches with 85.7 per cent and as a result it is likely to be contributing to the increasing preference for mobile banking.

“Declining use of phone banking is likely to be partly as a result of it having the lowest satisfaction rating of all the major channels with only 77.4 per cent.”

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