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The Future of Bank Branches? How Often Do You Visit a Branch?

POSTED ON BY

With the rise of internet banks, online banking and mobile banking, it seems likely that we will be seeing fewer brick-and-mortar bank branches in the future. The megabanks with vast networks of brick-and-mortar branches still dominate so there won’t be any quick disappearance of branches. However, most megabanks offer online and mobile banking to make it easier to bank without local branches. So even if you’re a megabank customer, you have probably been making fewer branch visits. That is causing bank executives to worry. According to this Huffingtonpost article:

What terrifies bank executives is their core customer is doing more and more of their business outside the bank. As a result, it's getting much harder to cross-sell them new products to build a lifetime relationship. That means customer loyalty is increasingly up for grabs.

What’s the answer for banks? The article says banks need to "Attract new clients by consistently educating and informing them." Do you think your local bank could build a lifetime relationship with you by being a portal of knowledge? I have my doubts.

I don’t know if the bank branch is the best place for financial education, but I know many still consider a local bank branch as very important for many banking services like safe deposit boxes, notary public, Medallion stamp guarantee, cashing in savings bonds and making deposits. Some of these will likely become less important in the future, but there will likely always be some services which people will want from their local bank branches.

Poll: How often do you visit a bank or credit union branch?

I thought this would make for an interesting poll. How often do you visit a local bank branch? Is it just once a year, once a month or once a week? And in the comments, please let us know what kind of banking transactions you do at a branch. Is it to deposit money? Or is it to access your safe deposit box? Or is it some other banking transaction?



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Comments
40 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I think about once a year on average, but it could be more if I wanted to deposit paper checks (in lieu of mailing them to an online based bank).  I guess I would do other things like visiting the safe deposit box, get a cash withdrawal, or in very rare intances, getting a cashier's check or some kind of account opening/closing request.

3
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
i have always been a fan of the polls they should be conducted more often

4
Comment #3 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
My visits to the local bank are normally twice a month to deposit or cash checks from other institutions. Every couple of months I'll cash-in change from my coin jar. Once or twice a year I'll access my safe deposit box.

4
Comment #4 by darkdreamer4u posted on
darkdreamer4u
A couple times a month for sure. Every month to deposit a big check I don't want to mail or anything. Since the branch is inside the grocery store and open on Sundays, this is very convenient.

3
Comment #5 by cumulus posted on
cumulus
Three times last year: 1) To get Medallion stamp guarantee, 2) for an
additional check register, and 3) to pick up additional deposit slips.

Most, almost all, local bank transactions done via ACH or ATM.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymouse (anonymous) posted on
Anonymouse
My Citizens Bank branch is in a nearby supermarket - very convenient. The people were very nice when I opened my account. I especially like their new ATM, adjacent to the teller area. It doesn't require envelopes and you have the (free) option of a transaction printout with images of the checks you deposited. I also use their online billpay.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Once a week

 

1
Comment #8 by Bancxman (anonymous) posted on
Bancxman
Twice a month to get cash from the ATM and infrequently to deposit the rare paper check I receive. I don't use cash much, but it's still necessary on occasion. For example, to buy beer from the vendors at baseball games. Everything else is done electronically. I wrote six checks last year although I only needed to write four. The other two were to get copies as proof of tax payments.

2
Comment #9 by dunker posted on
dunker
Never. I use mail to deposit checks once a month. I use RCA debit cards for practically every purchase. And I don't even use ATMs for what little cash I need. I just get cash-back at the supermarket maybe once a month.

4
Comment #10 by pearlbrown posted on
pearlbrown
I normally visit a local bank twice a month to deposit change or to cash a check.  I access my safe deposit once or twice a year. 

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Once a month or so, to get monet from the ATM, cash random checks, or get into my safety deposit box.  The latter need is not really met by on-line banking.  (Note and hint: I use the box as a good place to store my off-site backups of our computer, as well as for the usual documents.)

2
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Twice a week, have a crush on the cute teller

6
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
they wear the best costumes on halloween

2
Comment #14 by paoli2 posted on
paoli2
I usually have to go at least twice a week to deposit or cash checks from other banks.  I try to get all CD interest sent electronically to our account but not all our banks are set up for this.  It's ridiculous in this day and age that they aren't!  Otherwise I would not have to go very often to the branch.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
good advice and thanks pa

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
pa cd interest  you mean that you take the interest b4 they mature does that not lower the total one could receive ?

1
Comment #22 by paoli2 posted on
paoli2
#16  I just saw your question about the CD interest.  Yes, now that I have reached the amount I wanted to save, I always either have "our" interest sent to our local checking account monthly or quarterly or mailed to us.  There is never a penalty for withdrawing interest.  We can have it for our use and when CD matures, we still get back original amount deposited.  In my "younger" days, I did let it compound  because I had a goal to reach but what good is money if you never use it for yourself or loved ones? 

BTW, I did find another bank today within our 50 mile radius of our city to put a matured CD in.  The secret is in checking out the small towns around your area especially those with residents who have farmlands etc. and need loans to run their farms.  Those banks don't seem to get the advantages the big banks do and they still (believe it or not) want deposit money!  Their rates may not be what you need but they fit my needs just fine.  So don't overlook the small town banks. 

2
Comment #17 by psjf posted on
psjf
For decent-sized checks, I still don't trust any process other than depositing the check in person inside the branch.  Otherwise, very rarely, if at all, have need of visiting the branch.  

2
Comment #18 by Rosedala (anonymous) posted on
Rosedala
I have a huge TD Bank branch right across the street, open 7 days a week and awfully polite and helpful, but I only go once in a great while for cash (ATM right there in the lobby, but prefer the counter), for notarization or signature guarantee, or convert coins into bills.  Everything else - electronically.  :o)

2
Comment #19 by Harold (anonymous) posted on
Harold
I go to a Bank of America branch in SE Michigan about twice a month to deposit interest checks from other banks/credit unions into a checking account which I have had for years (first as Std. Federal, then acquired by LaSalle, and that acquired by Bank of America).  B of A has an 800 number to order checks (free).  I do not use their ATM or have a debit card with them but do use their VISA reward credit card which gives 1%/2%/3% on general/grocery/gas pump purchases, respectively, and have the reward deposited into their checking to get another cash reward.  This branch has no safe deposit boxes but another B of A branch about 1 1/2 miles away has one that I get for free.  I closed a safe deposit bank I had at Chase branch because the fee was raised to over $40 unless you had a special checking account (minimum daily cash balance, check fees, and a direct deposit).  The availability of a notary at Chase and Bank of America is not complete - they will not notarize wills.

2
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Would that bank be in the Louisville, KY area?

2
Comment #24 by paoli2 posted on
paoli2
#23:  Why?  Do you live there?  I wrote you should look at small town banks in "your" area so if you live in Louisville, KY that would be as good a place as any to make your radius for banks.  However, if you check on Cash Cow etc. you will find that most KY banks have stinky low rates at this time.  I check rates for a lot of states and cities.  You have to be willing to go where the rates are if you need a certain rate.

1
Comment #49 by Tortoise Banker (anonymous) posted on
Tortoise Banker
Well, as a branch manager of a bank, I visit the branch everyday!  We definitely talk about this issue often, but I feel that branches will remain relevant, just not nearly as much as the past.  Customers are "engaging" with their banks more and more, but not necessarily visiting the branch less often.

1