Branch visits face steep decline as mobile banking takes hold

Branch visits face steep decline as mobile banking takes hold

Mobile banking transactions in the UK are expected to more than double by 2022, while branch visits will dwindle to just four visits each year for the average consumer in the same period, according to figures produced by industry analyst group CACI.

As mobile banking continues to dominate the agenda for banks of all shape, branch visits are forecast to forecast to drop significantly across a number of demographics, with customers who do use their branch visiting less frequently, and some consumers less likely to use their branch at all.

Households without children will see their visits decline from almost eight a year in 2017, to around three per year in 2022, says CACI. Those aged 18-24 and starting out in life will visit their bank around six times this year, and this again will dip to just two visits annually in 2022.

The predicted rise in mobile transactions is partly driven by the adoption of technology by customers who have previously relied heavily on a physical branch presence. CACI predicts that there will be five times more elderly, low income customers using mobile banking in 2022 than in 2017, and consumers aged 50+ will account for almost a third of all mobile banking log-ins in 2022.

Additionally, mobile growth will be helped by the shift from desktop online banking to smartphone apps amongst many customers – 42% of high-income professionals will move away from desktop banking in the next five years.

Although pointing to an obvious upward curve in mobile interactions, Jamie Morawiec, associate partner at CACI says the data present a conundrum for British banks. “With more than half of the population still expected to visit a branch in 2022, the branch still has an important role to play,” he says. “Banks and FIs must ensure that the function of the branch remains relevant, complements the digital channels, and meets the specific needs of the demographics that are using them.”

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