Thinking of a Career as a Bank Teller? You Might Want to Reconsider.

A blog about business and economics.
March 26 2014 7:28 PM

One in Five Americans Hasn’t Been to the Bank in More Than a Year

148578092-people-walk-by-a-bank-of-america-branch-office-on-july
Branches are shutting down across the country as online and mobile banking takes off.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Are physical banks going the way of the telephone booth?

Alison Griswold Alison Griswold

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

 

One in three people in the U.S. reports not visiting the bank for personal financial reasons in the past six months, while one in five hasn’t gone in over a year. That’s according to a new study from financial information aggregator Bankrate, which surveyed 1,003 people on their banking and finance habits earlier this month.

Advertisement

Here’s a chart showing the full breakdown of when people say they last visited a bank or credit union location, using data from the Bankrate report:

american_banking_habits

The low percentage of regular bank goers shouldn’t be too unexpected, considering the vast number of online and mobile banking options available today. Why schlep to your local teller when you can deposit a check from a smartphone or transfer funds between accounts with a few clicks?

In equally unshocking news, the Wall Street Journal reported in January that branch closures in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 1,487 in 2013. Branches themselves have been declining steadily since 2009, with their numbers shrinking to 96,339 last year.

In light of all that, what might be most surprising is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics isn’t predicting dramatic losses in employment for bank tellers over the next decade. Rather, the BLS projects that employment among bank tellers will remain relatively flat in the years leading up to 2022.

That prediction sure seems optimistic based on the grim outlook for bank branches and low percentages of frequent bank goers. It’s possible that the forecast, which is for the 10-year period between 2012 and 2022, was created before online and mobile banking really began to take off and threaten physical locations.

At any rate, it’s looking like workers shouldn’t put all their stock in a career as a bank teller. In 10 years, there might not be too many counters left to work behind.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 3:24 PM Symantec Removes Its “Sexual Orientation” Filter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 3:04 PM Pogo Returns With Another Utterly Catchy Disney Remix
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.