NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (12/30/15)--Yes, branches still exist, and yes, consumers continue to travel to use them.
A recent survey from Bankrate found that, despite the growing use of mobile and online banking, consumers still take trips to physical branches at a relatively high rate.
Nearly half of Americans had been to a branch for personal business within the last month, and only 1 in 5 Americans had lasted an entire year without making an appearance at a branch, the survey found.
Perhaps even more surprising, the trends did not change based on age demographics.
“There is no major distinction among those who are branch loyalists,” Dan Geller, behavioral finance scientist for Analyticom, told Bankrate. “They are going to branches because of consumer financial behavior, not because they are younger, more educated or have more money.”
As of September, there were 6,213 credit unions with a collective 20,602 branches, according to CUNA numbers.
Geller explained that consumers most often feel the need to go to a branch when making a more difficult financial decision.
They certainly aren’t going for the convenience, he said.
“When the level of financial anxiety increases, people tend to make more instinctive financial decisions, rather than analytical,” Geller said. “This for many people means to physically be in the place where the money is. It gives them comfort seeing the place.”