Hitting the sweet spot of banking: branches vs. digital

Bank customers fall into three broad groups: conventionals (the 35% of customers who prefer to conduct their banking business face-to-face at traditional banks or credit unions), digitals (the 35% of customers who prefer traditional financial service providers but want to avoid face-to-face interactions in favor of digital ones) and pioneers (the 30% of customers who like to conduct business both face-to-face and digitally but see a future without traditional financial service providers). In order for banks to find the sweet spot in balancing investments with these three groups in mind, here are four trends to keep an eye on:

  1. Growing importance of person-to-person (P2P) payments — there is an opportunity for banks in the P2P space, especially as 21% of millennials and generation Xers using financial institution-sponsored P2P payment services.
  2. Wearables for banking — while only a small percentage of people own a smartwatch, 28% of smartwatch owners use it for banking. As the world migrates to an increasingly digital environment, smartwatch ownership and the percentage using them for banking could drastically increase.
  3. ATM usage is rising — customers are relying on ATMs in increasing numbers, with more than twice as many customers using foreign ATMs in 2017 as did in 2012.
  4. Checking account expectations changing — in 2012, most customers were concerned about accounts with no service charges. Today, most customers want a mobile application, with only a third saying that no service charges was something especially important for them.