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Americans prefer bank branches over mobile apps for opening new accounts

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Mobile banking apps keep getting better, but 60 percent of Americans would still rather open a new checking account in person at a bank branch than on a phone, tablet or desktop computer, according to a new survey.

Set for release on Wednesday by consulting firm Novantas, the survey also found that half of U.S. customers feel that online-only banks are “less legitimate” than those with branches.

The preference for visits to branch offices over online banking for some activity stems from being able to see someone to resolve any issues that may arise, the researchers found.

“Folks are still hanging onto this comfort of feeling like there is a branch nearby if, and when, they need it,” said Matthew Sharp of Novantas. Never mind that they are going to branches less often.

The findings show that banks that can afford to keep branch offices still have an advantage over online upstarts when signing new customers for primary accounts.

The results help explain why JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) have said recently they will build branches as they spread into more cities. Bank of America is expanding this year into Pittsburgh. JPMorgan intends to add as many as 400 branches over five years as it moves into cities such as Boston and Washington, D.C.

The Novantas findings are based on responses from 4,352 people contacted by email in September.

Read the full article on Reuters.

For more information, contact Novantas Marketing

+1 (212) 953-4444