Interview with The Australian: Increased digital comfort signals the end of the bank branch
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Interview with The Australian: Increased digital comfort signals the end of the bank branch

Since the pandemic began, 300 branches have been closed or scheduled to close, with ANZ alone shutting more than 140 branches. This was driven by a rapid shift in consumer behaviour. According to the Commonwealth Bank, its digital wallet transactions doubled last year, while NAB experienced a 30 per cent drop in over-the-counter branch transactions in the past 12 months.

Last month, GBG released the findings of its new report titled “Identity Verification: A Digital Utopia”, in partnership with RFi Group.


The report found 88% of consumers can see no resumption of their branch usage post-pandemic. This is highly indicative of the increasing desire from consumers for frictionless, digital-first, and always-on experiences.


It’s clear comfort levels with digital banking are rising, with 40% of consumers indicating that during the pandemic they completed a banking task via digital banking that in other circumstances they may have performed by non-digital channels. The biggest shift has been the rapid adoption of digital banking channels among older consumers as they catch up with younger generations. The proportion of consumers aged 45-54 using a mobile banking app increased from 45% in March 2019 to 59% in September 2020. For those aged 55+, it increased from 26% to 33% over the same period.


Speaking with The Australian, Carol Chris, Regional General Manager Australia and New Zealand at GBG, said the pandemic “accelerated a trend we are already seeing”, as previously hesitant consumers embraced the move to e-commerce, social media and digital banking. 


“The benefits of digitalisation could have bred new habits,” she said. “For example, processes like identity verification can be quite cumbersome when conducted in-person … meanwhile, digital identity verification methods can be as simple as taking a selfie.”


One of the starkest areas of contrast is in the way Australians are applying for mortgages, which spiked by 19.3% last quarter. The report found an increased willingness to use digital channels, with 39% saying they would now be comfortable completing and submitting a mortgage application entirely via a digital channel. For one in five surveyed, using a digital channel is now their preferred method to apply for a mortgage.


The pandemic gave Australians an opportunity to explore how financial services could be accessed more conveniently through digital and mobile products, and consumers are now demanding FIs find ways to make these products the new norm, in even more efficient, secure and frictionless ways.


However, this is easier said than done. Many FIs are struggling to balance compliance needs with consumer demand for speed and convenience. This is where identity verification becomes critical. Earlier this year, GBG expanded our flagship identity verification solution, greenID, to help Australian FIs with this exact challenge. greenID Digital Identity Verification Platform offers a complete end-to-end suite of biometric and document verification, data matching, and data intelligence to streamline and accelerate the eKYC process. This means banks can provide a more seamless customer experience whilst keeping security top of mind.


To read the full article in The Australian, visit:

Click here to download the full “Identity Verification: A Digital Utopia” report.

Click here to find out more about greenID

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