Ignore the Banking Studies?

canstockphoto11091075You can find data to tell you just about anything about banking these days. That’s not a good thing.

This morning I came across two banking studies that, while not exactly contradictory, seem to be implying two opposing trends.

On the one hand, there is the Bankrate.com study released today that indicates Americans are still banking at the branch.

Despite predictions that ATMs and online banking would mean the end of branch offices, a new report finds that half of all Americans have used a bank branch within the last 30 days.

Among those under 30, the group most comfortable with operating online, 42 percent have been to a branch within the last 30 days, according personal finance site Bankrate.com. That is just 10 percent less than those over 50 and 8 percent lower than the overall average.

“The number and location of bank branches, as well as their functionality, will continue to evolve, but clearly they’re not going away,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, said in a statement.

Then, there was data presented by SAP earlier this month that concluded: “As more consumers use internet and mobile banking, fewer of them visit brick-and-mortar branches.” Here’s a rundown from that study:

How much consumers want to visit their bank in person largely depends on their age—or their comfort with technology. A survey of more than 2,300 adults in the UK revealed that 75% of Generation Y consumers prefer online or mobile banking to in-person, while only 11% would rather go to a branch. For the over-55 set, a third would still choose an old-fashioned face-to-face experience. And predictably, the “professional class of LinkedIn users,” regardless of age, also prefers virtual banking.

Obviously, these studies present data from two different markets, but I find that banking research in general increasingly offers less definitive conclusions. Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, once said, “I despise research. I think it’s a crutch.” I’m starting to agree with him.

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One thought on “Ignore the Banking Studies?

  1. I can already hear Ron Shevlin keying away madly on his keyboard preparing a new Snarketing 2.0 Blog entry 🙂

    He usually has a field day with these types of “research” and brings a smile to many of our faces..!