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Gen Y still likes bank branches

By Marcie Geffner ·
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

Online and mobile banking might be all the rage, but young people still conduct banking transactions at bank branches as well.

That's according to a recent report, "Maximizing Financial Relationships with Gen Y," by Synergistics Research, a financial services marketing research company in Atlanta.

The report found that branches and ATMs still account for a significant proportion of banking activity for the Gen Y population, defined as people currently between 18 and 34 years old.

Online banking still dominates as 34 percent of those surveyed used that method for banking purposes. Branches ranked second at 24 percent. ATMs took 21 percent, mobile banking, 9 percent. U.S. mail accounted for 7 percent of banking activities. Telephone call centers came in at just 5 percent.

Branches generally were preferred to open an account or obtain customer service.

Synergistics CEO William H. McCracken said in a statement that Gen Y relies on a variety of banking methods, necessitating a "diverse delivery channel mix." That's consultant-speak for saying customers want multiple ways to conduct business with their bank.

Three channels -- online banking, branches and ATMs -- were deemed "absolutely essential."

"Online banking by PC accounts for the highest average proportion of Gen Y's banking activities, one-third," McCracken said. "But the branch is still widely used by Gen Y, representing about one-quarter of their banking activity on average ... This diverse usage of channels provides many opportunities for financial institutions to engage Gen Y and broaden relationships with this up-and-coming segment."

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