Traditional Bank Branches
Do you grouse about the five minutes you have to wait in line at the bank to make a teller transaction? Well, technology is increasingly making it so that you don’t have to wait — but that’s taking its toll on traditional branches and the workers who staff them.
According to financial researcher SNL Financial, U.S. bank branches dropped by 390 during the third quarter of this year — about the same number eliminated in the second quarter. Only two states — Iowa and Nebraska — added branches.
Meanwhile, banks including Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) and PNC Financial (PNC) are experimenting with smaller “express” branches utilizing video technology and smaller in-house staffs to maintain a physical presence.
The trend comes as more Americans are turning to mobile forms of banking, using smartphone cameras to deposit checks and relying on various online services to manage their money. According to Accenture, roughly 32% of American banking customers “use mobile banking at least once a month.”