Mobile has over taken the bank branch as a channel of choice for American consumers, but online remains the clear preference.
According to the American banking Association, “More than half of Americans manage their bank accounts online more often than any other method … Mobile banking ranked as consumers’ second most preferred way to bank, with about one in five people taking to their mobile devices to conduct their banking business.”
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The ABA revealed thatwhen when it asked consumers, “Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s)?” in a recent study, 55 per cent nominated their desktop computer or laptop, 18 per cent said their phone while the brick and mortar brigade languished in third place with only 14 per cent. Guess which of those three sucks up the most of the bank’s precious capital for the lowest return?
Banks around the world are struggling to find a problem their branches can solve. The idea that consumers will resist buying complex products away from the comfort and security of a branch will be news to anyone who ever bought a contract for difference (CFD) from an online broker or organised a house mortgage with a loan broker on the phone.
When asked to explain the customer benefit of a branch, most bankers struggle and fall back on the brand value of the physical channel, or the capacity a branch offers them to sell more product. (Hint to bankers — higher sales for you is not a customer benefit!)
Furthermore, the emergence of online-only banks is putting the myth of the value of sandstone permanence under greater stress.
In a statement accompanying the research, Nessa Feddis, ABA’s senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for consumer protection and payments, said she expected mobile banking’s popularity to grow as account holders are discovering the technology and becoming more comfortable using it.
“More people are walking around today with their mobile device in hand, and banks have made it easier than ever for them to access their accounts anytime and anywhere,” said Feddis. “It’s no surprise that millennials and other digital natives are embracing the convenience of technology to conduct quick transactions. Mobile banking is also a helpful real-time option for those who have a smartphone but not a computer.”
That didn’t stop Feddis toeing the company line, however. “The old adage of ‘be where they are’ rings true with banking. People like options, and today’s banks offer a diverse menu of banking methods to meet the needs and preferences of their customers. Many people use a mix of these channels to do their banking, so while use of digital options is strong, branch banking remains popular with many consumers.”
No. No it doesn’t.