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BAI Research Reveals 43% of Consumers are Doing all their Banking Digitally

Research uncovers 84% of consumers will maintain the same level of digital usage once in-person banking resumes

May 19, 2021 / Press Release

CHICAGO – May 18, 2021 – Recent research by BAI, a nonprofit independent organization that delivers the financial services industry’s most actionable insights, explored the impact of digital acceleration brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research seeks to help financial services leaders better understand the impact digital acceleration has had on branches and contact centers, how consumer attitudes about banking relationships are evolving, and what key digital investments leaders should be making.

Digital banking trends include:

  • Since the pandemic, 43% of consumers report doing all of their banking digitally and 24% have increased digital banking usage. Nearly all customers (84%) say they plan to maintain the same level of digital usage once in-person banking resumes.
  • The top digital banking resource customers across all demographic segments would use if available in the branch is Video ATM, which was ninth on the list of investment priorities for financial services leaders. Financial services leaders and consumers agree on the value of Interactive Teller Machines (ITM) with remote teller, with all generations of consumers reporting it among their top three priorities.
  • Most financial services leaders reported an increase in customer center call volume, with 76% reporting at least a five percent increase due to the pandemic. The top two types of calls received by the contact center during the pandemic have been for support in using digital for the first time (41%) or using the mobile app (36%).
  • Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to switch their primary financial services organization for better digital capabilities (72% of Millennials and 61% of Gen Z). More than half of Gen X (51%) would as well, but only 21% of Baby Boomers and older generations would switch.

“The COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated the adoption of digital banking across all generations, and our research has consistently shown that this increased usage is a permanent behavior change,” said Karl Dahlgren, managing director at BAI. “One trend that has come from this digital acceleration and online account opening is consumers preferring a hybrid approach to banking. This is where they keep a checking account at a traditional financial services organization with branches but also open accounts at direct banks or nontraditional organizations to take advantage of better rates or specific benefits.”

Dahlgren added that the research continues to emphasize consumer expectations for a seamless omni-channel experience. The branch and contact center will be important components to support a digital first approach.

About BAI
As a nonprofit, independent organization, BAI has delivered the financial services industry’s most actionable insights for more than 95 years, helping leaders make smart business decisions every day. We provide in-depth, proprietary research to more than 40 of the top US banks, support more than 2,100 financial services organizations with compliance and professional development training, provide trusted, relevant thought leadership through BAI Banking Strategies reports, podcasts and webinars, and offer specialized events and programs. For more information, visit bai.org.