banks

People Aren’t Ditching Bank Branches For Online Banking

Digital, and mobile specifically, has had a massive impact on how consumers manage their finances—that’s for sure. However, while digital and mobile bank self-service offerings are most popular, new research finds that physical bank branches remain an important touch point.

Three-quarters of (75%) consumers said they still believe physical bank branches matter, a new study by Adobe found, and 70% have visited a physical branch at least once in the past month. Adobe surveyed over 1,000 people across generations in the U.S.

The study found that 89% of respondents use their banks’ Web/mobile offerings, the majority (67%) of whom to check their account balances. More than half (52%) said that most of their banking is conducted online.

Yet consumers also said they're not very impressed with their online banking options: Sixty-two percent said their banks’ digital offerings are just average compared with the rest of their digital lives. More than half (57%) of all respondents said they have never digitally signed a document with their banks, while 41% would like their banks to offer this ability. Most (59%) said they would not do business with banks that didn’t offer digital or mobile services.

“We’re finding that consumers are increasingly engaging with their banks online, especially for quick transactions like checking balances, but banks are just scratching the surface,” said Craig Peasley, director of marketing at Adobe. “The data shows that there’s still room to delight customers with offerings that combine the face-to-face service that’s still popular and digital offerings.”

Millennials and Generation Z, in particular, said they prefer banking via mobile apps and were more likely to state they would not bank with a financial institution that had limited or no online and mobile services, the study found.  

“There’s a shift that’s occurring in banking right now, and it’s driven by the fact that younger consumers are coming of age and getting their own bank accounts,” Peasley told CMO by Adobe. “These digital natives aren’t looking to just check their balances and deposit checks. They are looking for more meaningful online experiences and, as the study pointed out, 44% of Millennial and Gen Z customers would even like to start and finish applications to open an account without ever walking into a bank. The challenge and, frankly, the opportunity is that many banks aren’t yet meeting these expectations.”

The study also found consumers want to feel safe about their money. Indeed, the majority (76%) cited security and privacy as key considerations when digitally enrolling for a banking service, and 50% said they worry about the safety of their finances with online-only banks.

Thus, it's little surprise that security was the No. 1 factor for all age groups when choosing a bank. Digital apps also are important for Millennials and Gen Z, while location of bank branches is important for Gen X and Baby Boomers. Millennials are most likely to avoid in-person signups.

“Similar to other industries, banks need to make every touch point, both online and in person, as frictionless and helpful as possible for consumers, taking into account that everyone has different preferences in terms of which activities they would like to conduct online vs. in the branch,” Peasley said. “Banks need to complement the brick-and-mortar experience with innovative digital experiences in order to continue to engage and retain customers.”

View the full report below, or click here to view it on SlideShare.

Banking in a Digital and Physical World

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