Physical Branches Have Staying Power, Remain Primary Channel for Banks to Deliver Services
March 26, 2015, Mt. Prospect, IL – Research highlighted in a new report published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) reveals that brick-and-mortar bank branches remain prevalent in today’s financial services industry. Data highlighted in the report also provides a “testament to the enduring value of physical access to banking services,”1 despite the growth of digital and self-service channels.
In part one of this two-part news brief series, Cummins Allison, the leading innovator and provider of check, currency and coin handling solutions, as well as ATMs, highlights three key insights from the FDIC report.
- Physical branches have staying power. The report points out that while the rise of alternative banking methods have reduced customer’s day-to-day dependence on physical branches, over six-thousand financial institutions continue to operate 94,725 brick-and-mortar branches. And, although the number of branches has fallen 4.8% since 2009, there are more banking offices per capita than in 1970, when many of today’s alternative banking methods did not exist or were not widely available.
- Customers value personal interactions. The study cites data from the 2013 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households which indicates that visiting a teller remains the most common way for households to access their accounts. Among account holders that do prefer online or mobile banking, most report also visiting tellers to access their accounts. In fact, 48 percent of people ages 18-49 visited a bank or credit union branch on a weekly basis. This data indicates that most customers place value on the physical bank branch as part of a “diverse suite of retail banking options”.
- Technology is not a substitute for branch offices. As the report indicates, although mobile banking would appear to be an appealing substitute for branch visits, it remains one of the least common ways for consumers to access their accounts. Customers continue to value the personal service and relationship banking that can only be delivered via brick-and-mortar branches.
As supported by the FDIC report, the physical bank branch will remain a “vital channel” for financial institutions to deliver services to customers. Likewise, alternative channels will not replace brick-and-mortar offices any time soon. Stay tuned for part two of this news brief series, which will address how financial institutions can take specific, technology-related actions to address the trends highlighted in the report.
For more information about how Cummins Allison’s currency, check and coin handling solutions enable more efficient processes within the branch, please visit www.cumminsallison.com.
1 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., “Brick-and-Mortar Banking Remains Prevalent in an Increasingly Virtual World”, February, 2015
About Cummins Allison
Cummins Allison is the leading innovator and provider of check, currency and coin handling solutions, as well as full-function ATMs. Our world-class sales and service network includes hundreds of local representatives in more than 50 offices in North America, 6 wholly-owned subsidiaries and is represented in more than 70 countries around the world. For more information about our award-winning solutions, visit www.cumminsallison.com.