2018 U.S. Consumer Survey: Branch and ATM Trends and Strategies and Impact on Branch TransformationThis IDC Perspective discusses the U.S. Consumer Banking Channel Preference Survey conducted among 2,501 U.S. residents who are 18 or older and have an active checking account. As 2018 unfolds, there has been an acceleration of branch closures. While we saw a peak in the number of branches in the United States in 2009, with just about 93,000 branches, estimates are that we are losing over 100 branches a month across the United States. Despite this consolidation, the message is clear that consumers and small business customers insist on making the branch an integral part of their retail banking journey, and banks and credit unions need to understand how to invest in the surviving branches.According to Marc DeCastro, research director at IDC Financial Insights, "We have really seen the shift we have been anticipating away from the branch for simple transactions and even for more complex account openings. The transformation needs to focus beyond simply closing branches, although that will be necessary, but also on upgrading the technology in the remaining branches, both for the employees and for customers wanting to self-service certain transactions. The next wave of investment must be on improving the experience by improving the tools provided to the employee and engaging customers once they are in the branch. This will be accomplished using intelligent edge solutions focused on cognitive technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics without losing the human touch."
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