Amidst the digital age, we continue to search for traditional banking’s place in the financial industry. Community banks, naturally, have less resources and smaller staff than larger competitors, but their small size offers agility and flexibility. To compete in today’s technology-dominated market, community banks must stay strong in these offerings in order to keep their edge.
In generations past, customers made weekly trips to the bank to cash paychecks as well as in-person visits for all other banking needs. Today, our checks are direct-deposited or mobile-deposited. We can apply for and go through the entire approval process for a loan, pay our bills, transfer funds, etc. all within minutes from our fingertips.
Around-the-clock access and self-service are requirements in this new age of banking. In fact, over 75% of participants in a recent survey said they would not bank with someone who does not have a mobile app. While it may be true that older generations have more experience with traditional banking methods and younger generations largely prefer mobile banking, members of all generations want and use these new technologies. In the aforementioned survey, 80% of respondents over the age of 45 said they wouldn’t open an account with a bank that doesn’t offer a mobile app.
Since community banks are largely in tune with their customers’ wants and needs, they have always been open to and quick to implement new changes such as drive-thru services in the 1950’s and ATMs in the 90’s. This also means that they understand there is still a need for traditional branch services. Research shows, and as we talk about in our A Customer Experience for All Generations post, that many older generations prefer banking in-person and even the youngest adult generations enjoy visiting branches from time to time.
Banking is still about building customer relationships. One struggle we’re seeing in this new age of technology is that traditions are being left behind in the pursuit of technology. The most successful banks offer both a great in-person customer experience while having up-to-date digital offerings as well.
In 2019, the need for traditional banks is still at large. Even characters in the Jetsons TV show, set in 2062, still used brick-and-mortar banks. 😊 We don’t see the desire for human connection and relationship-building going away any time soon, even with the technological advances society will continue to make.
What do you think? Are branch services here to stay? What are your customers, friends, peers saying?