Digital Banking Versus In-Person Interactions at Branches

dec_enews1_(3)What Do Consumers Really Want - Digital Banking or In-Person Interactions at Branches?

According to Peter Kirk at Accenture, there was a 145% increase in the use of mobile banking apps from 2011 to 2014.

At present, 80% of consumers use online banking, and 43% do so daily. I’d guess this isn’t a surprise to anyone including my 73 year old father who still uses a flip phone and keeps all of his contacts in a worn black address book. Even he knows that online banking is the new norm!

But here’s a shocker – since so many people are using online banking, you would think that branch usage decreased over the past three years, wouldn’t you? Well, it did… NOT!

Accenture reports that branch usage increased by 9% from 2011 to 2014.

People still go to their bank or credit union! Yes, they may use self-serve kiosks and services while they’re there, or they may need services that aren’t available online. Studies show that consumers actually prefer to conduct some of their banking business in person. In particular, they like make deposits at the counter rather than the ATM. As one would expect, Accenture says many of those folks who want face-to-face services are retirees.

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Here’s another trick question – what age group uses branches most?

  1. 18 to 24 year olds
  2. 25 to 34 year olds
  3. 35 to 49 year olds
  4. 50 to 69 year olds
  5. People who always say “29” when asked their age.

Ready to guess – wait, first you might like to listen to this interesting interview on “Science Friday” called “The Surprisingly Predictable Patterns of Random Choice”.

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The answer to the question above is … 18 to 24 year olds. OMG! LOL! No way, dude!

How can that be true? Accenture says that those young whipper snappers want face-to-face reassurance and advice because they’re just learning about how to manage their finances, and they can’t get that kind of human guidance online (… yet).

So the “Mobile Millennials” want in-person contact at branches? Yep! And let’s not forget what Jim Marous told us about “Senior Surfers” at the 2014 BAI conference back in November - “63% of Baby Boomers research financial services online and 68% want customization in their online experience.”

What should we conclude from all of this?

Customers want to be connected with their financial institution – in person and online. They want it all!

Banks and credit unions must determine what kind of financial institution they will be. Will they be what Accenture calls the “Do the Basics Right Bank”? The “Intelligent Multichannel Bank”? The “Socially Engaging Bank”? Or the “Financial/Non-Financial Digital Ecosystem Bank?

The level of connectedness that consumers want varies (depending on the make-up of your client base). Moreover, the level and mix of capabilities that can be delivered by a specific bank or credit union varies greatly too. Read the full Accenture report here to learn about these types of next generation financial institutions.

When you’re done with the Accenture report, and if you’d like to talk about mobile marketing & loyalty initiatives for 2015 and beyond, we are here!

Send Us a Message

We would be delighted to help you wade through the options on your quest to “be all you can be” for your clients.

Posted on January 27, 2015 by AndrewB - No Comments

Topics: Financial Institutions