Consumers Embrace Digital Banking, With a Human Touch

Eight out of 10 Americans surveyed by US Bank said they prefer working with a professional banker instead of a virtual one to resolve issues.

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While there has been a major shift to mobile banking, almost 63 percent of Americans believe they will never make all their financial transactions digitally, according to a US Bank survey of more than 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older.

Nearly 80 percent of consumers fear bad customer service from banks that go completely digital, which could explain why 86 percent plan to bank in physical branches over the next five years.

Further emphasizing the desire for personal interaction, 8 out of 10 Americans prefer working with a professional banker instead of a virtual one to resolve issues.

"Our data proves that banking technology adoption isn't as predictable as we may have thought," Dominic Venturo, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at US Bank, told eWEEK. "We know that enhanced technology and digital capability will continue to be important for Millennials, but we can't assume the next generation will survive on apps alone. While we are watching some traditional banking methods become obsolete such as writing checks, they are still relying on relationships."

Venturo said that essentially, moving forward, the industry needs to be prepared that there is no app that can replace the human element of a banking relationship.

"This clearly speaks to the importance of balancing security and convenience," he said. "At the end of the day, technology is great at connecting people, just not replacing them."

When asked what technology they were most excited to try, Millennials said they want to use 3D printers to print debit or credit cards at home, while Gen X and Baby Boomers are most excited to try retina scanners to sign for purchases.

Two out of five (41 percent) respondents who are 65 years or older say they would sign for purchases with an eye scan, compared with just 22 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24.

There is a rapid decline in some traditional banking methods, according to the survey, with 29 percent of Millennials reporting they have never written a check, compared with just 16 percent of Gen X and 13 percent of Baby Boomers.

"We feel we have a high degree of trust, and the survey backs that up across age groups. We try hard to strike the right balance between technology and security and are continuously focused on improving both for a better client experience," Venturo said. "We can't just innovate for the sake of innovation; we must continue to create opportunities for consumers to connect with banks on their terms allowing people to get even more value out of their banking relationships."