Millennials' banking habits suggest deeper branch cuts are coming

bii freq of bank visits10.23.15BI Intelligence

In a new study by BI Intelligence, we surveyed 1,500 millennials (ages 18-34) to explore how they use physical and digital banking channels. The banking habits of millennials, who compose the largest share of both the US and employed populations, are an important indicator for determining the future of retail banks.

Our data shows that banks are failing to draw this key demographic into their branches. Here are the key points:

  • Nearly three-quarters of millennials with a bank account visit a branch once or less per month. 
  • Just under 40% of millennials do not visit physical banks. Only 38% of US millennials use physical banks to perform banking activities other than using an ATM.
  • One-third of millennials go only to physical bank locations once per month or less. About 26% of millennials visit a branch less than once per month, and an additional 10% visit branches approximately once per month.
  • Only 6% are visiting a branch on a weekly basis. 6% of millennials go to a branch four or more times per month.

The data helps to explain why banks across the US have been scaling back their branch networks. Millennials are already the largest generation and a target market for banks. Since only a small percentage of millennials use their bank branches often, it makes sense for banks to increase investment in other banking channels like mobile.

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