Over the past decade, a significant shift in the banking landscape has unfolded, with American banks closing approximately 13,000 branches.
This trend, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has prompted concerns among customers, particularly those who rely on in-person banking services.
As closures continue, individuals are grappling with the challenges of accessing traditional banking resources. In the face of such changes, exploring alternative solutions becomes crucial.
Rise in Branch Closures:
The closure of hundreds of bank branches each year has become a recurring pattern, as evidenced by the announcement of 41 closures in a single week, including nine US Bank locations.
Major institutions such as Bank of America, Chase, PNC, Citizen, Capital One, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, and Huntington have all participated in the downsizing of their physical presence.
This trend poses a considerable obstacle for customers seeking face-to-face interactions for various banking needs.
Challenges for Customers:
The impact of branch closures extends beyond inconvenience, especially for those who prefer or require in-person services.
Customers often visit branches to submit documents, make withdrawals or deposits, cash checks, or consult with bank managers about their financial matters.
The elderly population, in particular, may face difficulties adapting to online banking due to a lack of internet or smartphone app fluency.
Limited Options for Affected Customers:
For customers facing the closure of their local branch, alternatives are limited. One option involves switching to banks that still maintain a physical presence.
However, this may not be feasible or practical for everyone.
Another avenue is exploring services provided by nearby ATMs, which have evolved beyond simple cash withdrawals.
Rise of Online-Only Banks:
Amidst the decline of traditional branches, online-only banks have gained prominence.
Institutions like Ally and SoFi offer a comprehensive range of services through user-friendly mobile apps.
These banks, lacking physical branches, often waive or refund fees incurred at other banks’ ATMs, providing a viable solution for those seeking remote banking options.
Advanced ATM Capabilities:
Automated teller machines (ATMs) have evolved to offer more than just cash withdrawals. Simon Powley, senior director at Diebold Nixdorf, notes the introduction of Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs), designed to replicate an in-person banking experience.
With touch screens and video capabilities, customers may interact with real tellers remotely, expanding access to banking services just outside traditional branch hours.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn