They are increasingly turning to online banking and visiting bank branches less often. Millennials are shaping the future of banking.
Bank branches have seen a 40% decline since 1991 and are projected to decline by another 25% by 2018.
In response, banks are cutting back on their branches while spending more on mobile capabilities. This is directly related to the continued shift to a mobile driven culture. Mobile banking is growing at a rate of 20%.
These trends have significant implications for not only branch banking, but for brick and mortar businesses and institutions as well...including churches.
Here are some things to consider...
- The bank branch may very well come obsolete. Like any major shift, it will take time, but eventually bank branches as we know them may be a thing of the past.
- ATM's may go the way of the phone booth. As cash and check transactions decline, ATM's will become nonessential and face the same fate as the physical branch.
- The smartphone may become the primary source of banking. It goes everywhere the user goes, has the ability to collect data and is already being used to make purchases.
- More Millennials may shift from attending church at a physical building to attending online. Church online is a great way to reach and disciple people, but we must keep in mind that it can pull Millennials from physically attending a church building.
- Convenience is appealing. Why drive to a bank branch when you can do the same thing on your phone in 5 minutes or less? I do not think online church will pull Millennials entirely from attending church physically, but it will affect situations where they are running late, have had a busy week, are tired or have a tight weekend schedule.
- Relationships, worship and fellowship happen best in person. While you can get teaching online - relationships, worship and fellowship happens best gathered in a physical location together. This is why I believe that while online church may affect physical gatherings to some degree, it will never completely make it obsolete. People still long for face-to-face connections. Local churches must be about personal relationships and community. Churches who do this well will continue to thrive even in a culture that is becoming more and more online driven.