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>> Americans love to shop online, watch their favorite TV shows online, and even date online. But when it comes to banking, not so much. I'm
] in New York. Ever since the financial crisis, the banking industry has been trying to get their customers to do more banking online, so that they can close physical locations like this one, and cut costs.
Now, they've had some success, the number of bank branches in the US dwindling to the lowest in a decade. The only problem is, that customers still want to come inside to do their banking, that's creating a bit of a dilemma. Bank executives say there's no greater advertisement than a big sign on a busy corner.
The physical branches where new customers walk through the door and drives additional business with existing ones. For example, executives at JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank, say each branch brings in an annual profit of $1 million. But at the same time, this is the digital age and customers still expect quick service with a tap on a mobile phone.
The hidden technology behind that cost the bank money and to make up for it they're closing branches. Each one can save the bank up to $400,000 a year. Getting rid of tellers, however, can set off a firestorm. JP Morgan Chase had to hire more tellers after cutbacks sparked a backlash.
Despite all the high-tech banking tools, why the love affair with physical bank branches? Executives say small businesses are one reason, they deposit money frequently, and prefer to handle their needs face-to-face. And the American public is still in love with check writing, which in many cases, still requires a trip to the bank.
Even though younger customers come in less, bankers say the digital revolution won't cause a wholesale shutdown of the main street bank anytime soon.