ATMs 'are still the most popular way to access bank accounts'

ATM machines remain the most popular channel of banking in Australia, although the growth of the internet is starting to change things.

A new study conducted by Roy Morgan Research has found that 77.1 per cent of the population still like to access their bank accounts via a hole in the wall machine.

However, the organisation also found that online banking is now being used more frequently, with 47.5 per cent of the nation using the web to make payments and check their statements.

What was most striking about the research was the fact that just 45.6 per cent of people now visit their branch in person – an indisputable sign that banking is evolving.

Phone banking – which was very popular around ten years ago – is now only used by 17.8 per cent of the country and is in a noticeable decline.

Chief executive officer at Roy Morgan Research Michele Levine said online banking has been growing for the past 14 years at the expense of branch visits.

"Just one of the implications of this change for banks and their customers is that the lack of personal interaction may possibly lead to a weakening of the traditional relationships and loyalty, resulting in reduced barriers to mobility," she remarked.

Ms Levine added that the huge demand for smartphones is also shaping the way people manage their finances.

She suggested that with smartphone penetration standing at 46 per cent, apps and mobile internet services are being developed to enable Aussies to access their accounts on the move.

It seems that – as a nation – we are certainly keen to embrace new technological advancements.

A study conducted earlier this week by ANZ found that 88 per cent of 18-34-year-olds now prefer to access their money digitally.

The research also indicated that 79 per cent of the population would be happy to see PIN numbers replaced by fingerprint recognition systems and a further 67 per cent felt that the introduction of retina scanners would also be a good thing.

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