Clicks not bricks
So many banks, credit unions and building societies seem to compete with each other over the number of branches they have but I am not convinced this approach is what all customers want.
It is true, customers expect personalised service and superior customer care from their lender but the statistics show they don’t necessarily want to go into a branch to get it.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, 79 percent of homes have internet access and 64 percent of users manage their money online. Roy Morgan Research found in an average four week period, 11.2 million of us over the age of 14 used internet banking. Of this figure, approximately five million accessed their lender on a mobile device.
This movement towards managing money online has effects that are trickling down through the finance sector with some interesting results. APRA statistics show banks, building societies and credit unions collectively closed 130 branches last year. These closures now happen quietly in response to reduced customer visits. The days of the community protest at branch closures seem to be over as more and more Australians access their money 24 x 7.
Who can say why those branch closures happened? It may have been the result of cost cutting due to tough times or consolidation of sites after merging with another lender. Most likely, with a range of choices and busy lives, it is due to too few customers walking through the door. And more people are voting with their mouse and applying online for their credit cards, investment accounts, and their home loan.
Using the Big Four as a yardstick, Roy Morgan Research found 56 percent of customers used online banking while less than a third visited a branch in a four-week survey period.
Roy Morgan has concluded online banking is also behind slight increases in reports of customer satisfaction with their bank. When the numbers are crunched, customers who say they are satisfied with their bank’s online banking service outweigh those who say they are satisfied with the bank overall, by 10 percent.
At loans.com.au we have built our business on our understanding of the need to fit managing your money into your busy life. By offering an online only presence we are available wherever you are with extended business hours and experienced lenders ready to help you with live chat, Skype or by phone in our Brisbane call centre.
And another thing… the savings we make by not having a branch network to maintain, we can pass on to our customers with one of the lowest interest rates on the market. Canstar and Money Magazine have consistently recognised loans.com.au for being very competitive when it comes to interest rates. In fact, Money Magazine awarded us Best of the Best Cheapest Home Loan award in December 2013 and Canstar gave us a five-star rating for outstanding value.
Give us a call and see if we can give you a better deal.
By Marie Mortimer. You can follow Marie on Google+
Image credit: arinas74