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Do the Majority of Americans Really ‘Want’ to Use a Branch?

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Novantas research found that 60% of American consumers want to use a branch instead of opening an account through digital channels. Are consumer preferences caused by a genuine desire to leave the house and travel to a branch a mile or more away, or by a lack of easy to use digital options?

Most commentary around branch usage relies on research that supports a specific position. Not because the findings of any specific research report are incorrect. In fact, most of the research is very well done by organizations I rely on regularly. The challenge is in the interpretation and dissemination of the research findings by organizations with a specific mission.

The debate over the need for branch offices by consumers places most people into one of two camps of thought. Many are either in the camp that says, “Consumers love branches”, or the opposite camp that says that “Branches have outlived their usefulness.”

The camp chosen by any person or organization may be determined by their position in the ecosystem (i.e. size of organization), the economic implications (i.e. channel(s) where significant investment has been made) or historical preferences (i.e. fear of change).

According to research conducted by Novantas, 60% of Americans said they would rather open a new checking account in person at a bank branch than on a phone, tablet or desktop computer. Reinforcing this finding is the reality that most consumers still only use digital channels for the most basic banking functions, such as checking account balances and transferring funds. For more complicated issues, like problems with an account or advice, most consumers prefer human contact.

Read the full article on The Financial Brand

For more information, contact Novantas Marketing

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