Local city center People seem to prefer banking locally than with megabanks. (Source: Shutterstock).

Fifty-six percent of respondents in a Kasasa-commissioned consumer study disclosed limited branch and ATM locations as the top reason for not opening a checking account with a local financial institution.

The Austin, Texas based Kasasa’s December 2018 study, conducted online by The Harris Poll garnered responses from 2,018 U.S. adults age 18 and older, also revealed a lack of up-to-date technology as another deterrent for opening an account at a local financial institution. Twenty-two percent of those who would not consider going local for checking accounts cited perceived lack of current tech as a factor.

Current technology appears to be most important to millennials (ages 24-38) with 28% of those who would not open a checking account with a local institution compared to 18% of Gen Xers (ages 39-53) and 14% of Boomers (ages 54-74).

While the study divulges the primary qualms consumers have with selecting a local credit union or community bank, most seem to prefer them over megabanks (55% would consider a local financial institution to open a new checking account compared to 29% who would consider a national megabank).

Kasasa noted the results emphasized the significance of delivering and effectively communicating to prospective members and customers accessibility of branches and ATMs, along with innovative, technology-driven products.

Also, inferior product offerings are the third most common reason for not selecting a local financial institution for checking account needs at 21%. In fact, 51% of Americans in the study believe local financial institutions lack the resources to offer the level of innovative, user-friendly products national megabanks or online-only banks offer.

“The idea that community financial institutions don’t offer the same products as megabanks is just not true,” Gabe Krajicek, CEO of Kasasa, said. “Kasasa was created to help community banks and credit unions compete aggressively with megabanks by offering products that are innovative, convenient and free to consumers. Local financial institutions must use their combined voice to make it known that they are offering similar, if not better, products than megabanks. This is how we will take back banking.”

Kasasa, a financial technology and marketing provider, aims to help community banks and credit unions compete with and take back market share from megabanks by meeting consumer needs through innovative products that provide true value.

Kasasa announced earlier this year they are now the fourth largest banking branch network in the nation, with 907 community financial institutions partners. This represents 3,408 Kasasa-carrying community credit unions and bank branches across all 50 states and 1,749,065 accounts. Combining all CFIs and branches, Kasasa would be the fourth largest branch network with only three having broader retail distribution.