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While the use of both basic and advanced digital banking channels is increasing, the majority of customers are still not ready to make the switch to full digital branch automation, writes Matthew Wilcox, Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Innovation at Fiserv, in a recent article for The Financial Brand. A recent Fiserv survey yielded a number of important insights into customers’ attitudes towards physical versus digital banking; the author discusses the findings and offers the following conclusions:

Digital Services Continue to Gain Traction—Consumer opinions were relatively evenly split on both their preferred mode of interaction with their primary financial institution (PFI) with 39% of respondents preferring to interact with live bodies in a branch setting, 36% preferring banking via personal computer, and 14% preferring banking via mobile and wearable devices. 79% of respondents cited checking an accounting balance as the top reason for using digital banking.

Branches are Still Loved (by Fewer Customers)—Just over half of consumers said they had visited a physical branch in the month of the survey—even fewer than the 61% who had done so at the time of this survey last year. However, banks cannot ignore the 39% of respondents who expressed a preference for interacting with live bodies in a branch setting. This is an area in which banks will need to remain vigilant, tracking preferences and, in all likelihood, eventually making a decision to switch to full automation—but not just yet.

Voice Banking Provides New Opportunity—A relatively new approach, voice-activated banking, is growing in popularity, particularly among early adopters of innovative services, such as Millennials and high net worth clients. According to the Fiserv study, half of respondents have already encounter voice-activated apps on their smart phones, laptop/desktop computers, and/or in their cars; of this group of respondents, it was indicated that they might use such technology to check account balances (68%), pay bills (46%), and log into accounts (46%). According to the author, speed and convenience are the driving features of this form of technology.

For more information, read the article in full at The Financial Brand.