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Study: FI Branch Transactions Down 45% Since 1992
ATLANTA (6/6/13)--Branch transactions at credit unions and community banks have declined 45% since 1992, according to the 2013 FMSI Teller Line Study. The average cost per transaction has increased to $1.08 from 48 cents. Meanwhile,  mobile banking is on the rise, the study said.

FMSI provides business intelligence systems to financial institutions.

The study is a compilation of statistics from credit unions and community banks in geographic regions across North America. The March 2013 study encompasses more than 17 million teller transactions and compares the same to the previous 21 years of the study.

Regarding mobile banking, the study said worldwide mobile payment transactions surpassed $171.5 billion in 2012, up 62% from $106 billion in 2011. Usage in U.S. increased by 50% since 2011.

However, despite its growth, mobile banking still only accounts for less than 3% of transactions for the majority of FMSI's clients.

Among the reasons for the decrease in branch productivity is that the number of branches have increased at a higher rate than the population, the study said.

The ratio of population to branches had declined dramatically by 2008 from where it was in 1970, the study said.  In 1970, 9,340 people were served per branch; by 2008 that number dropped to 3,683 per branch, according to the report.

"This metric is a result from a nearly 300% growth in the number of branches while the population growth was nearly half of that."

Overall, credit unions and community banks have experienced a 17.9% decline in transactions per teller hour, the study said.

Based on average branch monthly volume, credit unions have seen a 12.1% drop, while banks have seen a 26.2% decline.

Teller processing labor cost per transaction has increased 6.5% at credit unions, and jumped 18.4% at banks.

"It is now more important than ever for bank and credit union management to pay closer attention to their operating expenses. The labor cost savings associated with a focused and dedicated workforce optimization program for branches has become too great to ignore," the study said. "Maximizing the staffing investment through a more sophisticated scheduling approach also leads to improving sales and service levels."

"By paying closer attention to teller idle time, or the time tellers are waiting for transactions, an institution can get more accomplished during these systematically identified lull periods through proactively scheduling outbound selling campaigns," the study concluded.


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