Report: Fewer Folks Using Bank Branches [AUDIO]
How long has it been since you have gone inside your bank or credit union to conduct business? If it's been a while, you are not alone.
A new report by Bankrate.com finds that three in 10 Americans have not visited a bank or credit union branch in at least six months. However, half of Americans have visited a branch within the past 30 days.
"It's not surprising, simply because more and more activities are gravitating toward online and mobile channels," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst with Bankrate.com. "Online and mobile technology makes it much easier to bank particularly for routine-type transactions to make deposits or transfer money between accounts. There's no longer a need to visit a branch for those types of transactions."
At the same time, with the frequency that people are still utilizing branches, it's very clear that the branch is not going away anytime soon, according to McBride.
"We're currently seeing a contraction in the number of branches because, much like houses during the housing boom, branches were overbuilt during the last decade," McBride said. "With the subsequent decline in branch traffic, you're seeing a contraction in the number of branches and the functionality of those branches. That will continue in the years to come, but the branch is still going to be the place that people go to have a consultation with their banker."
Consumers of all ages have expressed a clear preference to have access to a branch, according to the report. Among those under age 30, 42 percent have been to a branch within the last 30 days compared to 52 percent of those over the age of 50. One in five retirees has not visited a branch in over a year, while 53 percent have done so in the past 30 days.
To see the report in its entirety, click here.