What you need to know

The total number of US banks is falling, as is the total number of branches. Consumers are quickly adopting digital channels – both online and mobile – but will still be looking for the safety of a brick-and-mortar branch as the pandemic winds down in the next few years. Satisfaction levels are high, but adults aren’t feeling as valued by their primary bank. To maintain loyalty, banks need to offer seamless transaction experiences as well as positive customer service interactions.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the banking market

  • Trends in US banking

  • Banking behaviors affected by COVID-19

  • Reasons to switch banks

COVID-19: market context

The consumer data in this Report was fielded in November 2020 and the Report was written in March 2021. As a result, the attitudes and behaviors included reflect a pandemic environment.

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. It was declared a global health pandemic and national emergency in early March 2020. Across the US, various stay-at-home orders were put in place in Spring 2020, and nonessential businesses and school districts closed or shifted to remote operations. The remainder of 2020 saw rolling orders, as states and local governments relaxed and reinforced guidelines according to the spread of the virus in each region.

Vaccine rollout began in December 2020. Based on current estimates of vaccine production and distribution, the US could reach herd immunity, with 70-85% of the population vaccinated, by late Summer to early Fall 2021. Mintel anticipates business operations in the US will remain in a state of flux through 2021 as the vaccine is widely administered.

Economic and other assumptions

Per CBO projections from February 2021, unemployment will fall to 5.3% in 2021 before improving over the next five years to reach 4% in 2025. Real GDP is expected to make a swift recovery and return to pre-pandemic levels in mid-2021, while continuing to average 2.6% growth until 2025. These projections take into account vaccinations reducing COVID-19 cases and allowing the labor market to recover at an even quicker pace – returning to prepandemic levels sometime in 2022. Participation in the gig economy is expected to follow these projections and continue growing, as the share of US workers in the gig economy continues to increase.

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