Long Live the Branch: Banking In-Person Still Preferred by Many Consumers, According to Protiviti Survey

Press Release

New survey report from Protiviti finds interesting mix of consumer preferences for brick-and-mortar banking vs. online and mobile options

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Oct. 26, 2015 – Despite the attention that both online and mobile banking continue to receive in the marketplace and the media, bank customers still seek human interaction at local branches, according to Protiviti’s 2015 Consumer Banking and Payments Survey (www.protiviti.com/consumerbanking). The survey found that 84 percent of bank customers still visit their branches at least once a month, refuting the premise that bank branch demand is declining.

It wasn’t long ago that bankers were scratching their heads over the number of customers coming into the branch asking about online banking. Our survey suggests that in the mind of the customer, the branch continues to be the place where their money lives, while the web and mobile are applications that direct the movement of that money. Consumers clearly seek an omni-channel experience, where they move within and between channels for product purchases and account servicing and management.

Protiviti surveyed more than 2,000 consumers aged 20 through 69 in the United States to identify the perceptual and behavioral trends in banking practices, including service delivery preferences, online banking, credit card security and the adoption of new payment products. The study also breaks out results by gender and age demographics.

Omni-channel Preferences

A steady shift from ‘multi-channel’ (offering banking options from which customers could choose one) to ‘omni-channel’ (customers can fluidly move across multiple options) experiences continues to be apparent as customers take advantage of multiple banking options (e.g. websites, mobile, ATM, branches, etc.). In fact, the survey identifies no negative correlation between the frequency of bank visits and web and mobile banking use.

Of the individuals expressing a channel preference, frequent branch visitors were more effusive in their praise of their brick-and-mortar locations (53 percent) than non-visitors were about their mobile (33 percent) experiences. Such consumer preference represents an excellent opportunity for cross-selling and improving the customer experience.

Consumer Behavior and EMV Shifts

The study found that younger millennials (under age 30) are using mobile applications most frequently, a finding that holds up across various types of transactions from checking balances (approximately 83 percent), to sending money (approximately 46 percent). Millennials are also more likely to use their phones to make a variety of smartphone purchases such as merchandise, media and groceries. Not surprisingly, in-store and online purchases using smartphones decline with age.

Also on the minds of many consumers and retailers is the new EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) transition. As of October 1, 2015, brick-and-mortar retailers that do not accept and use chip-and-signature transactions will bear the liability for fraudulent transactions. According to those surveyed, 70 percent feel that using chip security versus a magnetic stripe will be more secure, while just four percent feel it will be less secure.

The Protiviti 2015 Consumer Banking and Payments Survey report, along with an infographic and a podcast highlighting the data, are available for complimentary download at www.protiviti.com/consumerbanking.

Money2020 Conference, The Venetian, Las Vegas

Protiviti is exhibiting at the Money2020 conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas now through October 28. Attendees can stop by booth 2331 and pick up a free copy of the survey report. Details -  October 28, at 09.50 a.m. PDT.


Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

About Protiviti Inc.

Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach, and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Protiviti and its independent and locally owned Member Firms provide clients with consulting and managed solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal audit through its network of more than 85 offices in over 25 countries.

Named to the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Protiviti has served more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000® and 35 percent of Fortune Global 500® companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.

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Kathy Keller
Kathy Keller