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Retailers Can Find New Opportunity in Bank Closures

Updated: May 18

In the age of self-service and digital adoption, it is not surprising to see banks continuing the trend of rapidly closing branches across the United States. However, this trend is quickly creating larger and more common “banking deserts”… and a surprising opportunity for retailers to step in and fill the gap, attracting more foot traffic and sales.


The Scale of Bank Closures

Over 3,000 bank branches closed in 2022, while only 1,000 new ones opened. Major national banks like JP Morgan Chase, PNC, and Citizens shuttered 64 locations in just one week in November 2022. 


The number of US counties lacking any bank branches has grown from 700 in 2012 to 1,200 in 2023. These areas are essentially “banking deserts” where consumers have no access to in-person financial services. 


Consumer Still Want In-Person Banking Access 

While digital is the name of the game today, many might be surprised to discover that consumers still overwhelmingly demand proximity and ease of access for in-person banking:

  • 87% of Americans want branches located close to home or work

  • 90% demand convenient access to ATMs


Without accommodating these preferences, banks and credit unions risk alienating long-time customers. Similarly, communities losing too many branches are facing significant losses of convenient banking – especially in rural communities.


Filling the Void with Retail ATMs

Retailers who install convenient, attractive ATMs can fill the accessibility gap left by bank closures. These machines offer an opportunity for partnerships with financial institutions to continue providing a level of convenient, in-person financial access to account holders who are otherwise left behind.


Similarly, banks and credit unions can avoid negative impacts by partnering with retailers and directing account holders to retail locations for their financial needs. Compliant, well-placed retail ATMs are ideal community banking substitutes.


Of course, one of the fastest ways to take advantage of both reliable ATMs and bank partnerships is with a reputable ATM provider. These companies already work regularly with banks, credit unions and ATM manufacturers for a variety of programs – and can help retailers launch lucrative on-site ATM programs fast.


The Boost to Retail Sales 

Most importantly, increased foot traffic from displaced bank or credit union customers can directly translate into retail sales. Studies show that 20% or more of the amount consumers withdraw from an ATM is typically spent within the same store. These consumers also tend to frequent the same trusted ATM locations out of habit.


By becoming the reliable, convenient answer for community banking needs, retailers can leverage bank branch closures for a significant boost in transaction volume and sales.


Find Out How your Business can Benefit from a Partnership with a Bank or Credit Union – and Take Advantage of this Ongoing Bank Branch Closure Trend.


Brandon Tant, Account Manager



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