branch banking

Beyond the Screen: The Value of In-Branch Banking for Young Consumers

Is in-branch banking regaining popularity? Over the last few years, factors have pushed financial institutions to prioritize digital and mobile banking projects to allow for remote transactions, but bank and credit union leaders should not count the branch out just yet. In fact, some of the largest institutions in the US are opening new retail banking locations. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo announced an expansion of their physical footprints earlier this year, even entering new markets to address specific needs of their account holders. Should you, too?  

The Branch Matters to Young Consumers

Among others, young consumers are driving a resurgence in in-branch banking. Millennials and Gen Zs (ages 21-40) still primarily rely on digital banking, but find more value in the “human touch” when it comes to significant transactions like making large value deposits and receiving financial advice. 

Research from BAI found this demographic visited branches or drive-up tellers 6-times a month on average, whereas Boomers (ages 56-75) visited branches just twice a month. When transacting in-person, an Adobe Analytics report revealed that Gen Zs are primarily making deposits (45%), while others are there for face-to-face customer service or financial advice (25%). 

With most young consumers visiting a branch to make a deposit, improving the efficiency and user journey across these channels should be a top priority for institutions. 

Success with Branch Transformation

Branch transformation is more than just the physical layout of the branch. A successful strategy looks at the needs of the consumers and employees to deliver a superior level of convenience and service. And, with digital-only tools seemingly not meeting these needs, financial institutions should see this as an opportunity to reinforce their omni-channel strategy.

Despite changes in banking preferences, one thing remains constant – feature and capability consistency cross-channel is key to maintaining engagement, requiring modern, flexible, and scalable solutions that power all deposit channels – in-branch and from outside.  

Strengthen the Weak Points of Check Processing

The risk of fraud makes all deposit channels vulnerable. Check fraud rates are soaring and are becoming more difficult to control with fraudsters acting in groups while using a combination of digital and physical tactics. Despite face-to-face interactions, the branch is not any less vulnerable to risk than another deposit channel. 

With increasing check washing scams originating on the dark web, as well as a resurgence of mailbox scams targeting both consumers and businesses, banks and credit unions must ensure they address these risks, yet still maintain a user journey that reduces friction. 

The Future Is Bright for Retail Banking Locations

Digital banking is still a preferred way to bank for many, but face-to-face experiences should not be undervalued. Important banking transactions and financial advice require a level of trust that digital channels are still unable to provide, despite the incredible advancements around personalization. Rather than looking at the branch as a “thing of the past,” financial institutions should see in-person banking as the door-opener to attract new account holders, build trust, and a piece of the puzzle to retain their loyalty. 

Alogent’s deposits automation platform, Unify, brings next-gen capabilities to all in-branch and remote deposit channels, speeding item processing with a transaction-level approach and fighting fraud across all capture points. A core component to a financial institution’s branch transformation strategy, Unify is the answer to those banks and credit unions looking to improve efficiencies and streamline user journeys both in-branch and across remote channels. 

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