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There is a long held belief that the Generation Y consumer is just not interested in utilizing bank branches.  The reality, according to a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research Inc., young people want to visit branches staffed with knowledgeable employees in addition to having access to current technology.  They want to be able to speak to someone who can answer their questions face to face.  Community banks need to make sure they are reaching out to these consumers.

Gen Yers between 25 and 34 years old have been shaped in part by the financial crisis and resulting recession and therefore find themselves more interested in conducting regular transactions in person at bank branches.  This demographic is 2.5 times more likely to visit bank branches than consumers over 65 years old.

It would seem that bank branches still serve a very important purpose, especially when it comes to young consumers who are just learning how to manage their finances maturely.   In order for community banks to properly serve this consumer group, they will need to provide services that bigger banks are already offering.  Increase in mobile banking services and a well trained staff to help explain the services offered are among the services that young people are seeking when looking for a bank.

For community banks to compete with their big banks, they need to be looking at how to court the Generation Y consumer.  By making their branch services as technologically sophisticated as big banks and offering knowledgeable staff, they can cultivate a new generation of banking consumers.

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