The way we bank and spend our money has changed at an unprecedented pace, but is society really ready to say goodbye to the bank branch?
Since we first published our magazine more than 60 years ago, we’ve gone from a world reliant on cash to a world dominated by cards and contactless.
From a world with banks on every high street to a world dominated by apps.
For many of us this is a world in which banking is considered easier – just a few taps on a mobile phone can see you doing almost anything from paying for you grocery to paying in a cheque, from giving your friend a fiver to setting up a standing order.
But this world of tech-based banking is not yet for everyone. We’re concerned that there are people being left behind by the industry as it competes for the attention of digitally engaged consumers.
How do people feel about these changes?
When it comes to hard cash, we know that there are still people around the UK who rely on it for a number of reasons.
This can be for budgeting, to make payments where cards are not accepted or as a backup in case something goes wrong.
That’s why we’ve been campaigning hard to get the government to take urgent action to protect access to cash, free of charge, for as long as it is needed.
But when it comes to banking, we need to know more about how people feel about these changes and whether we all feel that we are ready or willing to step completely into this brave new world of digital banking.
For this reason, we’ve spoken to more than 120 people around the country over the last three months to find out how they feel about the changes taking place around them. There are already some key findings emerging from our work.
In the new tech-enabled world, many of us are seriously considering saying goodbye to the bank branch for good and switching our banking to app-only alternatives.
But as people start to switch to online only solutions, banks will continue to look at ways of saving money and branches will continue to close.
There’s a question we must now ask ourselves: is society ready to say goodbye to the bank branch?