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Internet overtakes branch as channel of choice for Australians

08 October 2012  |  8265 views  |  3 web HTTP

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.

Comments: (3)

John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 09 October, 2012, 05:12

Banks in Australia will reduce their network of branches in
proportion to the popularity of their websites.  This is an inevitable by-product of the internet age.  The popularity of the internet for banking in Australia is huge, and will increase in years to come.

This will eventuate through the public increasing their use of both credit and debit cards as a result of the new functionality of Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass, the increasing use of mobile phone banking, the eventual efficiencies of the National Broadband Network (NBN) currently being laid throughout Australia, and through the desire of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), to get all players in the banking system to update their computer systems to accommodate instant or real-time transactions, by 2016.

Once all Australian banks have introduced new computer hardware and software to accommodate instant or real-time transactions, and for these functions to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this will make internet and mobile banking even more popular.  Unfortunately, the downside will be increased unemployment through more branch closures.   

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 09 October, 2012, 08:52

If you ignore the black internet line, it looks like ATM is the main reason for branch visits falling (getting out cash). The internet has more likely replaced need to write a cheque or pay in cash - activities that didn't required the branch in the first place.

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Mark Pavan
Mark Pavan - Mapa research - London | 18 October, 2012, 14:24

John is right about the grwoth of Intrenet and Mobile banking. I am surprised Mobile hasn't featured as a a line in its own right in the research?

It wil also be interesting to see if NFC payments and wallets like Commbanks Kaching eventually (on top of Internet transfers) affect ATM visits anytime?

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