Could your cardholder location search data empower your financial institution’s location decisions?
Financial institutions everywhere are having the same issue – branches are losing foot traffic. In many cases, previously high-performing locations are no longer pulling in the footfall they once were. Recent studies show overall branch traffic has dropped by around thirty-five percent.
But, oddly enough, even self-proclaimed “mobile-only” account holders stop into their local branch around once a week or so. More admit they would come in more often if hours were extended. Perhaps even more surprising is that only thirty-six percent of consumers actually prefer mobile banking apps to banking in person.
It would seem that most account holders WANT to stop by the branch. But either they don’t have the time, or their financial institutions’ branches simply aren’t where they need to be.
Location, location, location
The biggest issue facing today’s financial institutions might be where they are situated. In the past, being convenient either meant being near offices or along major traffic routes. These placements made it easy for working Americans to stop by the branch on a lunch break or on their way to or from work.
But today nearly three-quarters of US companies either have a hybrid work model or plan to implement one. Hybrid operations mean, of course, the majority of workers are working from home two to three days per week. More work from home leads to less time spent in the main office and fewer days commuting.
But what about all those bank branches designed to cater to everyone at work? Suddenly, they aren’t as convenient as they were intended to be. So, what’s a financial institution supposed to do? Get up and move?
Maybe. After all, what good is a branch if it’s not meeting account holder needs? The trick is to know WHERE to move. Fortunately, there’s data for that.
Mobile Locator Data to the Rescue!
During the COVID-19 pandemic Google, Apple, and other big tech companies offered some interesting tools for consumer mobile mobility. By tracking mobile phone data, these powerhouses were able to see the locations people visited most often.
It was possible to see, for instance, that airports and movie theaters were some of the last places to gain traffic post-lockdown. But casino hotels, counter-service restaurants, and shopping malls saw a swift and decisive return to near-normal traffic volumes.
While they lasted, this data was an absolute goldmine for placement strategy, providing unique insights into where and how current and potential account holders were shopping, traveling, and spending their days.
For financial institutions, the visuals on the “new normal” for foot traffic trends is a key factor in determining the best placement for ATMs, ITMs, and new branches. Unfortunately, most of these easy-to-use free services are no longer available.
But not to worry, there are other ways to gain consumer-provided data on the best places to provide financial services – like the Wave 2 Branch and ATM Locator. Believe it or not, real-time cardholder behavior geodata is a free and easy to use fringe benefit of providing an outstanding locator experience for your cardholders in your website and mobile apps and digital banking platforms. As mobile application users and website visitors search for convenient financial access locations, you can learn exactly where they are HOPING to find you, whether they are typing in full addresses, zipcodes, using GPS, or searching on the map itself.
Credit union and bank partners that offer the Wave 2 Locator can leverage the data provided by these compiled searches – telling them both where and when consumers are searching for their services. In addition to location information, Locator users can select from a range of options including, but not limited to, ATM, Branch, ITM, Surcharge-Free, and Deposits – all of which can be further compiled, sorted, and mapped to further understand target consumer banking needs. Our powerful heatmapping and cluster mapping data visualization tools make it easy to access and understand that data and to make informed decisions for your institution.
Discover how the Wave 2 Branch and ATM Locator can help your financial institution better plan for the future. Contact us today!
Jason Green, Co-Founder
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