e-Banking Squeezing Out Personal Banking
Elements of the “Diginomic Era” are ripping into the traditional world of banking, retail shopping, currency circulation and more. In 2018, there appears to be more street-level bank branches closing than opening due to the growth in mobile banking.
“Online banking has changed the face of transactional business and affects commerce across many trades and industries,” reports the Houston Chronicle.” Consumers now have the ability to perform transactions online that were traditionally reserved for tellers inside a bank branch. Teller transactions have declined because internet users have the convenience of transferring funds, making deposits and requesting withdrawals from their personal computers. According to Bank Systems and Technology, ‘Internet banking has been the most influential in displacing branch transactions.'”
According to The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 25, 2018), “Banks are closing branches at the fastest pace in decades, as they leave less profitable regions and fewer customers use tellers for routine transactions. The number of branches in the U.S. shrank by more than 1,700 in the 12 months ended in June 2017, the biggest decline on record, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data.”
On June 15, the BBC reported that “about 60 bank branches are closing every month” in what is being called an “alarming” rate. It’s estimated that in England alone, nearly 3,000 bank branches will have closed between 2015 and the end of 2018. “Banks said their branches were losing customers as more people banked online.”
“These days, several banking apps exist that help users understand and analyze their spending habits on an annual, monthly and even daily basis,” reports Techopedia.com, “The IT Education Site” that covers technology trends, tech jargon and “anything else IT pros care about.”
“Each year, more and more banking consumers are turning to mobile banking applications to stay up to date with their banking needs. This trend has manifested itself in increased demand for mobile banking platforms and even in the loss of customers by banks that have yet to offer mobile banking services. Experts say that this is a trend that we should get used to. In fact, the growing popularity of mobile banking is expected to change the way banks service customers. It even has the potential to reshape the landscape of the personal banking industry.”
To further emphasize the point of how mobile banking has changed in recent years due to mobile technology, there are approximately 2 billion smartphone users in the world today. Over a third of the world’s population owns a smartphone. In fact, in many developing countries, the computing revolution bypassed PCs altogether, with people in rural communities connecting to the Internet for the first time through a smartphone.
According to FORBES, “the smartphone unique subscriber base will pass the three billion mark for the first time ever in 2018, representing 54% of the total population,” resulting in 52 percent of the banking public preferring the use of their smartphones to check their balances as versus 22 percent preferring their PCs.
“The future of the banking industry is growing increasingly digital,” notes Business Insider. “The explosion of smartphones in the last decade has truly caused mobile banking to go mainstream. Today, mobile banking apps are not an extra benefit in consumers’ minds. They are a necessary part of the bank-customer relationship, and their absence could convince customers to switch to another financial institution.”
T. Hall, a banking consultant in Alpharetta, GA, perhaps said it best. As he instructs today’s bankers to prepare for the new future in banking, when he was quoted in The Wall Street Journal’s November 30, 2011 issue as saying, “Many bankers don’t quite get the fact there is a new normal, a new world order that is coming to banking.”
So, as the world becomes more fluidly mobile, the banking industry is being forced to change the face of its services to meet the demands of this growing digital generation.
Only those institutions and services that “awake” to the new era of diginomics will survive.
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