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ATLANTA - When it comes to convenient banking, the supermarket can't be beat, according to participants in a Market Pulse Survey conducted by IBT, a branch banking consultancy based here.
The traditional bank was ranked No. 1 in convenience, with 34 percent of consumers saying a trip to their local branch was the method of banking they prefer most. However, the grocery store was named by 61 percent as the most convenient place to bank, aside from the traditional brick-and-mortar branch. Discount retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target ranked a distant second behind supermarkets for convenience, at 16 percent.
Internet banking and ATMs are seen by many as supplements to branch banking, according to the survey. On average, respondents use the Internet 3.8 times per month to conduct banking. Still, they visit the branch for check transactions, to withdraw money, and ask about their accounts.
Not surprisingly, almost nine in 10 consumers say they prefer to open a new account at a branch near their home. Similarly, 78 percent prefer to do their everyday banking near home.
Supermarkets were also rated highly when it comes to customer service. When asked to identify and describe a place where they have a positive shopping experience, consumers named both grocery stores and discount retailers, each channel receiving a nod from 34 percent of respondents.
The Market Pulse survey, completed in August, comprises interviews with 400 random consumers responsible for financial decisions in six regional SMSA markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle.