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Old 03-06-2013, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
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Default PNC to Close 200 Branches

In light of what has been heralded as "a difficult economic climate for banks" PNC Financial Services Group, which is building its new corporate headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh, announced that it will be closing 200 retail branches this year, laying off employees in the process, and it will also potentially begin charging clients who make mobile deposits for the "convenience of not standing in a long teller line", according to the article in the Post-Gazette. This comes on the heels of JPMorgan Chase announcing it plans to lay off 17,000 by the end of 2014.

Let me get this straight. It costs $3.88 less for a client to deposit a check via a mobile device as it does to make that same deposit via a teller, according to the Tribune-Review article, yet PNC is planning to punish tech-savvy clients who are saving them money by charging them to do so? Charging people to make mobile deposits is only going to send us BACK to branches to instead make deposits at the ATM, and once they also start charging to make deposits at those you'll see teller lines swell again.

PNC to shut *200 banks | TribLIVE

More branch closures for PNC Financial Services Group - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I worked for PNC until recently, and our branch by no means noticed a shift away from the teller line, as our clients largely "didn't trust" ATM's, debit cards, or mobile devices, for whatever illogical reasons. We were chronically overwhelmed, and I only foresee additional branch closures as exacerbating the situation at a time when PNC's looking to aggressively increase its market share and client base. We were told to aggressively cross-sell everything to everyone, no matter how many times they said "no".

Last month PNC closed branches locally in Freeport and Mt. Lebanon. It's not yet known how many local branches are going to be eliminated.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:35 AM
 
1,398 posts, read 796,846 times
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I can't remember the last time I was actually physically in a bank branch. Two years at least.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Wilkinsburg
1,661 posts, read 1,227,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Let me get this straight. It costs $3.88 less for a client to deposit a check via a mobile device as it does to make that same deposit via a teller, according to the Tribune-Review article, yet PNC is planning to punish tech-savvy clients who are saving them money by charging them to do so? Charging people to make mobile deposits is only going to send us BACK to branches to instead make deposits at the ATM, and once they also start charging to make deposits at those you'll see teller lines swell again.

The decision to charge customers who use mobile deposit has little to do with the cost of that service compared to the alternatives (i.e. driving to the bank or mailing a check). Apparently PNC thinks that it may be able to make some money by charging for the mobile banking service, and if it can, it will. It's not about "punishing" consumers.

From the consumer's point of view, if PNC does begin charging for use of mobile deposit, then that cost needs to be weighed against the total cost of going to a bank branch, which includes travel, parking, and the cost of your time. I'm willing to wager that many people would be willing to pay a dollar or two to avoid the hassle of going to the bank (I know I would), and that is certainly part of PNC's calculation.

The relevant question is not whether charging for mobile deposit will drive customers back to the branches, but whether it will drive customers to the competitors, who may choose to offer free mobile banking. And that is a much more difficult question.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:19 AM
 
656 posts, read 668,241 times
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The closing of branches is no surprise. With the Nat City merger, it was planned all along for some of the branches to close. Out in Bridgeville, there are 4 PNC branches in about a 2 mile stretch. That makes no business sense whatsoever. At least one of them is slated to close- I think another might be as well. Mobile banking has also decreased the need to visit branches in person. I think I went to a branch once in the past 3 years or so- when I had a check that was too large to deposit via mobile banking.

Anyone who views the branch closings in a chicken-little the-sky-is-following does not have an appreciation or understanding of the realities of the banking business.

The possible charge for mobile banking is a reflection of the changes in the banking industry. Governmental regulations have taken away so many avenues for revenue for the banks that they are trying to find new ways to increase revenue. Mobile banking is super convenient and saves me a ton of time. If it comes down to it and I have to pay for it, so be it. The banks have to make money, too.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,718 posts, read 7,184,030 times
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ML North, it goes even deeper than that. banks are unable to make money by their traditional means (the spread) due to low interest rates and a problematic lending environment, leaving them increasingly reliant on fees and cost cutting.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ML North View Post
The decision to charge customers who use mobile deposit has little to do with the cost of that service compared to the alternatives (i.e. driving to the bank or mailing a check). Apparently PNC thinks that it may be able to make some money by charging for the mobile banking service, and if it can, it will. It's not about "punishing" consumers.

From the consumer's point of view, if PNC does begin charging for use of mobile deposit, then that cost needs to be weighed against the total cost of going to a bank branch, which includes travel, parking, and the cost of your time. I'm willing to wager that many people would be willing to pay a dollar or two to avoid the hassle of going to the bank (I know I would), and that is certainly part of PNC's calculation.

The relevant question is not whether charging for mobile deposit will drive customers back to the branches, but whether it will drive customers to the competitors, who may choose to offer free mobile banking. And that is a much more difficult question.
It just seems very unorthodox to me. They force their employees to push, push, push their clients to use mobile banking in order to eliminate those same employees in the long-run while simultaneously nickel-and-diming clients further once they've transitioned. I used to think PNC was the "good" big bank due to their commitment to Downtown Pittsburgh while many other major employers have abandoned the city. Not anymore.

Maybe you'd pay to deposits your checks via your smartphone or tablet. I personally won't. Every dollar counts when you're saving for a down payment on a home. I'd instead deposit at the ATM. Once they also charge for that it's back to the teller line for me---or to Dollar Bank.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:25 AM
 
656 posts, read 668,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
It just seems very unorthodox to me. They force their employees to push, push, push their clients to use mobile banking in order to eliminate those same employees in the long-run while simultaneously nickel-and-diming clients further once they've transitioned. I used to think PNC was the "good" big bank due to their commitment to Downtown Pittsburgh while many other major employers have abandoned the city. Not anymore.

Maybe you'd pay to deposits your checks via your smartphone or tablet. I personally won't. Every dollar counts when you're saving for a down payment on a home. I'd instead deposit at the ATM. Once they also charge for that it's back to the teller line for me---or to Dollar Bank.
Welcome to the banking business in today's world. You should read up on how the banking business has changed in the past 5-10 years. It is amazing.

Time is money for me, both professionally and personally. Sure, there will be people who instead of using mobile banking go to an ATM or teller. But there are many others, like me, who are willing to pay for the convenience and ease of mobile deposit.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Wilkinsburg
1,661 posts, read 1,227,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
It just seems very unorthodox to me. They force their employees to push, push, push their clients to use mobile banking in order to eliminate those same employees in the long-run while simultaneously nickel-and-diming clients further once they've transitioned. I used to think PNC was the "good" big bank due to their commitment to Downtown Pittsburgh while many other major employers have abandoned the city. Not anymore.
I think the goal would be to set the price of the mobile deposit service at such a level that the decrease in volume is negligible. At least that's what I would do, but I'm an engineer so what do we know. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Maybe you'd pay to deposits your checks via your smartphone or tablet. I personally won't. Every dollar counts when you're saving for a down payment on a home. I'd instead deposit at the ATM. Once they also charge for that it's back to the teller line for me.
Depending on how much the fee is, it may in fact still be a money saver to use the service and pay the fee versus traveling to a branch to see a teller. For instance, if you have to ride the bus to the bank, a $2 fee -- despite being more expensive than a $0 fee -- is still much cheaper than a $5 round trip fare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
---or to Dollar Bank
I've actually been planning to establish an account at Dollar Bank, purely because I like the building on Fourth Avenue and I want to move my safety deposit box there.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Wilkinsburg
1,661 posts, read 1,227,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
ML North, it goes even deeper than that. banks are unable to make money by their traditional means (the spread) due to low interest rates and a problematic lending environment, leaving them increasingly reliant on fees and cost cutting.
I agree, pman. Regulatory restrictions, as Burghgirl17 mentioned, are also a major driver.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneW View Post
I can't remember the last time I was actually physically in a bank branch. Two years at least.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burghgirl17 View Post
I think I went to a branch once in the past 3 years or so- when I had a check that was too large to deposit via mobile banking.
You both were the exception---not the rule---at my branch. We endured the same people coming in daily just to "chat" about absolute nonsense when they should have been working, taking us away from legitimate sales-related initiatives we needed to complete in order to reach our monthly quotas. I was there to help people rebuild their credit to qualify for a loan, connect people to retirement advisors, open up new credit lines, etc., yet most of my day was wasted catering to archaic people who "didn't trust technology".

Like you both I've only been in a branch very rarely to get quarters for parking meters when out on my deliveries. THAT is something I WOULD be willing to pay a fee for since it distracts branch personnel from their work and in no way benefits the bank's bottom line whereas someone depositing a check on their iPad (as I do) is adding potential money into the bank's coffers---money the bank can then turn around and try to urge you to invest with them to strengthen your financial relationship with them. Why encourage these clients to instead make deposits into other banks' accounts by charging them to deposit?

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 03-06-2013 at 06:40 AM..
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