Study: Online Banking and Mobile Apps Do Not Reduce Importance of the Branch Network

CFI Group's inaugural Bank Satisfaction Barometer shows branch convenience remains the number one reason consumers choose where they will do their banking

Dec 05, 2013, 12:00 ET from CFI Group

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CFI Group, a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics, released its inaugural Bank Satisfaction Barometer (BSB) today, finding that the number one reason consumers choose their banking institution is access to a convenient branch location. A recommendation from friends comes in as the second reason at 21 percent, while web and mobile banking capabilities come in dead last at two percent.


Despite the "death of the branch" theme that some put forth, BSB data reveals the physical branch and online banking are almost equal in popularity and customer use. In the past 30 days, 82 percent of customers interacted with their institution through a website while 77 percent visited their local branch. Mobile apps are slowly gaining popularity, with 35 percent of customers using an app in the past 30 days.

"Banks are driven to pay closer attention to the experiences their customers enjoy when engaging in business with them," said Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group. "By better understanding the importance of the branch network and the complimentary role of their 'electronic face' via websites and apps, banks can improve the customer's experience and drive financial performance."

In addition to looking at satisfaction with traditional banking channels, the inaugural study also examines the state of mobile apps in banking, satisfaction with bank products, and the problem resolution tactics employed by financial institutions. These findings include:

  • Mobile apps are used more for general information than transactional use. The number one use of apps is to check account balances, reported by 84 percent of respondents, followed by general information inquiries at 57 percent.
  • Checking accounts are the most popular banking product: 96 percent of survey respondents use their financial institution for this purpose.  
  • Least popular bank products include most any kind of loan and savings instrument outside of traditional savings accounts.
  • Effective problem resolution is critical: customers who were satisfied with the way their bank handled a problem had almost double the satisfaction score.

As the emphasis on the customer's experience grows, monitoring and analyzing drivers of the customer experience has never been more important. CFI Group offers a variety of services and tools to help businesses understand these metrics and make informed decisions, positively impacting financial performance. To learn more, please visit:

About CFI Group (
CFI Group is a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics. CFI Group provides a technology platform that leverages the science of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This platform continuously measures the customer experience across multiple channels, benchmarks performance, and prioritizes improvements for maximum impact.

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, CFI Group serves global clients from a network of offices worldwide. Clients span a variety of industries, including financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, telecom, retail and government.