You may drive farther to reach a branch
Technology is creating new opportunities for more customer convenience, which is also allowing banks to close some less-trafficked branches. According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the number of branches and bank offices in the U.S. has declined by more than 3,000 since its peak in 2009. More account holders are embracing technology, and that number will continue to fall.
"Reducing branch costs is a necessity because branch traffic is declining," McBride says.
Despite the decline, statistics indicate many consumers are still committed to going to branches. A 2013 survey from the American Bankers Association shows that branches are the second most popular way to conduct banking business behind online banking via laptop or PC.
In the future, there may not be a branch on every corner, but consumers will still be able to conduct their banking business in person.
"As a whole, the banking industry will most likely see a decline in the number of branches," Barnhart says. "However, I don't think it's as dire as some of the headlines might say. The bank branch is not dead."