ATLANTA - Supermarket bank branches have reached a mature growth stage after achieving some success as transaction centers, a survey by Synergistics Research Corp. found.

These outlets are good at serving younger and lower-income people's transaction needs but have not evolved into the selling channels many banks had hoped they would be, the company concluded.

Though three in 10 consumers have used a supermarket branch, only one in 10 said they use them more than standard branches, Synergistics said. Those with incomes of $15,000 to $24,900 are more apt than wealthier consumers to visit supermarket branches more frequently.

Four in 10 in the 18-to-34 age bracket said they have used a supermarket branch, against three in 10 older people. Less than 10% of the audience said have opened an account or applied for a loan at a supermarket branch.

The results "reveal, at least from the consumer perspective, that supermarket branches are transaction facilities, not sales centers," said William H. McCracken, chief executive officer of Synergistics. "It is clear that branch planners must reassess their objectives and tactics regarding supermarket banking."

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