Banking changes

Banks have been in the news a lot in recent years. Many say the banking system was on the verge of collapse in late 2008, and partially as a result, major new financial regulations were passed by Congress in 2010. Not only that, says N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, we also are changing the way we interact with banks.

“In fact this is another … example of how information technology is changing just about everything that we do. It used to be … when we were growing up — in fact, when we were adults — you’d go to a bank. You’d physically go to a bank. You’d physically deposit your money. If you needed to take money out, you’d physically go. You’d talk to the teller, et cetera. This is one reason, incidentally, why banks usually build very impressive buildings — because they want to communicate to their customers that they were strong and safe.

“Well, now, of course, information technology has changed that. We’re using virtual banking. We’re using ATMs. We are using the computer to deposit money. We’re using the computer to take money out. We’re using the computer to access all of our accounts at banks.

“So this banking online is really becoming the wave of the future. And it’s creating a big big question for banks: [The] big question is, Do they need branches anymore? And how many branches do they need? How do they attract new customers if they can’t do that by having a physically imposing building in the community?

“So like … many things in our society, information technology is continuing to change the way that we interact with our banks.”

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