More Aussies swapping bank branches for mobile banking

More Aussies swapping bank branches for mobile banking

When was the last time you went into a bank branch to make a transaction? The odds are much better that your last bank transaction was made on a mobile device, according to new research from Roy Morgan.

According to the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey, over an average four-week period in the six months to October 2018, there were 4.73 million people using bank branches – a decline of 1.77 million or 27.2% from the 6.50 million recorded in 2014.

Over this same period, use of mobile banking over an average four-week period has increased by 3.51 million or 62.2%.

While internet banking on a website remains the most popular means of doing business with a bank, it has declined since 2014 and may be surpassed by mobile banking in a year or two, according to Roy Morgan. Phone banking was also found to be declining in popularity.

Major banking channels used in the last four weeks

Banking channel 6 months to October 2014 6 months to October 2018
Internet banking using website 52.3% 47.1%
Internet banking using an app on a mobile phone or tablet 29.3% 44.7%
Visited a branch of a bank or other financial institution 33.7% 23.1%
Phone banking 16.1% 13.6%

So, according to Roy Morgan, who’s killing bank branches? You guessed it – millennials.

The Roy Morgan survey found that nearly two-thirds (63.4%) of millennials use mobile banking, making up over one third (36.4%) of the total mobile banking market. Generation Z and Generation X were also found to make up 26.3% and 24.6% of the mobile banking market respectively.  

The older generations were the only ones found to prefer bank branches over mobile banking, with 38.1% of pre-boomers and 29.8% of baby boomers using them over an average four-week period.

Branch Banking and Mobile Banking – Generational Comparison

Generation Branch used in last 4 weeks Mobile banking used in last 4 weeks
Pre-boomers (born pre-1946) 38.1% 6.2%
Baby boomers (born 1946-1960) 29.8% 25.0%
Generation X (born 1961-1975) 23.5% 48.5%
Millennials (born 1976-1990) 19.8% 63.4%
Generation Z (born 1991-2005) 13.9% 53.6%

Roy Morgan’s research also found that the higher your household income, the more likely you are to prefer mobile banking. To illustrate, mobile banking preference goes from 63.4% among those with household incomes of $150k p.a. and over, to 25.3% among those with household incomes of less than $40k p.a.

Even though mobile banking was found to be more popular among higher-income households, branches were found to still be in use by around 23% of those in households with incomes of $60k or more.

Branch Banking and Mobile Banking – Household Income Comparison

Income Branch used in last 4 weeks Mobile banking used in last 4 weeks
<$40k 30.5% 25.3%
$40k – <$60k 27.4% 39.2%
$60k – <$100k 25.8% 51.5%
$100k – <$150k 22.6% 59.5%
$150k+ 20.9% 63.4%
Total 23.1% 44.7%

Roy Morgan industry communications director, Norman Morris, attributed the growing popularity of mobile banking to its high level of customer satisfaction, with 89.2% compared to 85.7% for bank branches and 77.4% for mobile banks.

Another factor he credited was rapid technological change:

“The strong preference for mobile banking by millennials is a result of them having grown up with technology, compared to the older generations who have been brought up only using branches. As millennials get older however, their financial needs are likely to become more complex and so they may also require some type of personal contact, possibly involving a branch.”

“The idea that with increased complexity and incomes that there is still likely to be a role retained for branches is shown by the fact their use remains fairly consistent for all those with household incomes over $60k pa, despite their increased use of mobile banking.”

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Learn more about bank accounts

How do I close a bank account?

Closing a bank account is one of those tasks that’s easy to put in the too-hard basket. There are quite a few steps involved, some which may require you to hang on the phone for a while.  

Here’s a handy checklist of items to tick off, so the job gets done quicker. If you don’t do your banking online, the following steps can also be done at a branch.   

  • Cancel any scheduled or recurring payments
  • Update your direct debit details (such as loan repayments) with creditors
  • Export your payee address book (to keep a record of saved third-party bank account details)
  • Transfer the balance of your account (to the new bank account)
  • Close your account online, or by calling the bank or visiting a branch

Can I open a bank account in another country?

Despite having a bad rap for facilitating tax evasion, it is possible and legal to open a bank account in another country, also known as an ‘offshore account’.

Some people choose to open a bank account in another country to invest overseas, for higher interest-earning potential or to access foreign banking services.

The process for opening an offshore bank account differs depending on the financial institution and country in which you’re opening the account.

Typically, you will need to provide identification such as a passport, a local bank statement and a signed declaration proving the source of the money being used to open your account. Usually, deposits into offshore accounts can be made by international money transfer.

Can I find my bank account number online?

Yes, you can find your bank account number by logging into your online banking and clicking on the relevant account.

What do I need to open a company bank account?

To open a company bank account, you will probably have to provide 100 points of ID, an ABN and an ACN. You will probably have to provide the details of all signatories as well.

Do you need a bank account to sell on eBay?

You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.

Can I close my bank account over the phone?

In most cases, you can close a personal or business bank account over the phone. In fact, this is the best way to ensure you’ve closed an account properly.

By speaking to a banking representative, you can capture and close out any pending transactions, or interest owing/payable on the account being closed.

In the instance where the account is a joint account, or you have multiple bank accounts you want to close, your bank may send you a form that you need to fill out and return.

Either way, you would be advised over the phone of the steps you need to take. Calling your bank ahead of closing an account is often a smart course of action.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

How do you find a bank account number by name?

For privacy reasons, Australian banks won’t hand out account numbers or other details about their customers. However, if you provide a bank with a BSB and account number, they should be able to confirm if those numbers belong to one of their customers.

Do I need to open a business bank account?

Just because you’re in business doesn’t necessarily mean you need a business bank account. You could be a sole trader not registered for GST, and use your personal bank account for business.

If you do want a business account, there are plenty of benefits attached to business transaction and savings accounts, as well as business term deposits.

There are business bank accounts designed for businesses with a high volume of transactions, and those for start-ups with a small amount of trade. You could also include an EFTPOS service with your account.

Some business bank accounts charge for the number of transactions per month, while others offer a pay-as-you-go fee structure, where you only pay fees for transactions you make.

It’s up to you whether your priority is mainly transactions, or earning the maximum amount of interest on your principal. There’s a business banking solution for you if you need one.

Can you open a bank account at 16?

Yes, you can open a bank account at 16, or even younger. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Can foreigners open bank accounts in Australia?

Many Australian lenders allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Australia. Often, this can be done before you arrive in the country – with no Australian address required. When you get to Australia, you can pick up your debit card, using your passport as identification.

How can I close an ANZ Bank account from overseas?

There are two ways you can close your ANZ Bank account from overseas:

  • Call +64 4 472 7123 (toll charges apply)
  • Send a bank mail request via ANZ internet banking

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

How do you set up a bank account online?

Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.