Internet banking has overtaken branch visits as the preferred access channel for banking services in Australia, according to a 'state of the nation' study by Roy Morgan Research.
The research finds that 47.5% of Australians 14+ currently conduct their banking via the Internet, ahead of 'visiting any branch' (45.6%).
The Websites of all the major banks each have over 2.5 million visitors in an average four weeks, with CommBank leading the pack with 4.4 million visitors.
ATMs (77.1%) remain the most frequently used channel while phone banking (17.8%) peaked in 2003 and is now in decline.
Analysts at Credit Suiisse in Australia are forecasting a massive reduction in the branch networks run by the big four Australian banks. With branch transaction volumes sliding by about five per cent a year, the analysts forecast that as many as a quarter of the 4000 branches operated by ANZ, CommBank, Westpac and NAB could disappear over the next five years.