Half of All Consumers Would Switch to Online-Only Banking if Local Branch Closed

November 30 — Fifty percent of banking customers wouldn’t mind if their local bank branch closed, according to a recent survey by Webpals Finance, part of the Tel Aviv, Israel-based Webpals Group. Moreover, 56 percent of banking clients feel that the level of customer service on personal finance apps is the same as in-person, citing their proclivity for digital banking over in-person interactions.

According the survey findings, millennials are less likely to visit their bank branch in person than any other age group, with


nearly three in every four millennials having not visited their local branch in the last three months or longer. In a decade where nearly 9,000 brick and mortar branches have closed, traditional banking institutions must be conscious of evolving customer demands. The quickest growing group of banking customers, millennials, face unique financial goals and challenges in the American economy.

Perhaps not surprisingly, almost 50 percent of Gen Z consumers surveyed said that the last time they visited their branch was also the first — when they opened an account — indicating a new world order of digital-first banking Traditional banking giants must provide new and innovative solutions to enhance personal finance and investing to a digitally-native audience, tailoring their offerings to up-and-coming generations of financial customers who are equally at ease with a mobile app as with a bank teller.

“What we are seeing today is a major cross-industry trend towards digitalization, and banking is no exception,” said Inbal Lavi, CEO of Webpals Group. “An all-inclusive banking platform provides customers with the ease, convenience and accountability they desire. Insights from the survey indicate banking customers are moving towards online and mobile platforms to conduct financial transactions and to monitor their wealth and savings.”

Other key survey findings include:

  • Brick and mortar bank branches are less relevant to young adults, with 34 percent of Gen Z respondents indifferent to their local bank branch closing as they are mainly banking digitally.
  • While 72 percent of respondents used a personal financial app within the last week, 66 percent have not visited their bank branch within the past month — and 72 percent of millennials have not visited their bank branch in three months or longer.
  • Only 28 percent of all respondents would not change their bank if their local branch closed, marking a decline in bank loyalty among consumers.

The survey, conducted in September 2018, was jointly carried out with Google Consumer Surveys based on a representative sample of more than 500 respondents from the United States, aged 18-65+.

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