There is a “new normal” in retail banking, and understanding how to navigate it takes careful consideration of changes in consumer behaviors, concerns, and preferences. In 2020, the pandemic and subsequent retail restrictions served to accelerate trend shifts in consumer experiences that were already underway.

In order to better understand how consumer values have evolved in response to these events, NewGround commissioned a study from Goldman Consulting & Strategy, a highly-respected and independent financial services research firm. This study collected vital data and feedback from over 1,200 banking consumers nationwide.

Retail banking experiences are still valued among consumers

The New Branching Normal Study results painted a fascinating, and reassuring picture of the consumer’s mindset in response to changes in their retail banking experience. Not surprisingly, consumers responded with increased concern over issues related to health and safety. As a result, sanitization and contactless retail experiences hold a higher value for consumers, but entering a bank lobby represents a less pressing concern as compared with entering a traditional retail or grocery store.

Survey respondents also expressed their perspective regarding a push toward digital channels for their banking needs. Although digital channels are appreciated and utilized, consumers indicated their wish to retain access to reliable in-person banking services. Some of the survey responses made this abundantly clear:

“Continue providing reliable service through mobile banking, but allow the option to walk into branches as well.”

“Do everything you can to sanitize, clean, and make the branch safe for customers. Communicate what you’re doing in a clear, consistent, and timely manner so we know what to expect.”

“Keep up the good work, don’t forget people that do not use the latest technology. We are the ones who got you where you are today.”

Person to person contact is essential. Do not go down the tech rabbit hole for on hold, voicemail, etc. It makes customers angry.”

Understanding these poignant expressions of consumer preference and concern is key to developing a strategy to ReBalance your branching approach. NewGround utilizes feedback like this and an array of relevant data points to help our clients assess their current strategy and plan for changes that will help them adapt to shifting consumer demands. To learn more about our study findings, CLICK HERE.

Gain access to a team of retail strategy and design experts who have developed a comprehensive response to help you ReBalance and optimize your delivery strategy. Reach out to Scott Florini, VP of Strategy at sflorini@newground.com.