The ease of online mobile banking has changed the way many Americans handle their finances-- with three in 10 Americans not visiting a bank branch in the last six months--but that doesn’t mean bank locations are going away any time soon.
A new survey from Bankrate.com finds 42% of those under age 30 have been to a branch within the last 30 days, compared to 52% of people over age 50. Using an ATM did not qualify as a visit.
“The way that people are banking and utilizing branches is changing,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “But clearly the need for the branch is not going away. Consumers still value the ability to go into a branch and like to know they have the option.”
Online-only banking accounts have become more popular over the last few years as they tend to be able to offer higher interest rates than tradition banks, but McBride points out that nowadays, Americans tend to have multiple financial relationships.
“We will continue to see a decline in branch usage, but they will never go completely away.” The nature of visits is evolving, he adds. “People aren't coming to make deposits like in the past, the branch is very much an area for consultation, that is the evolution of bank branches. We will see fewer people going less often, but when they do it will be for a longer more consultation-like visit.”