The Center’s upcoming study on the future of money and banking explores how frequently Americans interact with their primary bank/credit union at a branch, by ATM/cash machine, mail, or phone. Here is a sample of the results filtered by respondents’ race or ethnicity.
Overall, 89% of people said they interact with their primary bank or credit union at some time though their ATM/cash machine. When we look at frequency of use of the ATM/cash machine by race/ethnicity, some interesting differences emerge.
- Among Latinos, 83% said they use ATM/cash machines to interact with their banks monthly or more. Similarly, the figure for African-Americans is 84%.
- On the other hand, only 65% of whites use the ATM/cash machine to interact with banks monthly or more.
- Forty-nine percent of African-Americans and 57% of Latinos said they interact with their banks weekly or more through use of ATMs/cash machines. But only 38% of whites said they use this method of interacting with their bank weekly or more.
What do we see when we look at in-person interactions at banks, for example with a teller, based on race/ethnicity?
- Overall, 91% of people said they have interacted with their primary bank or credit union in person at a branch.
- For both whites and Latinos, 54% said they interact in person at a branch of their bank or credit union monthly or more — this compared to 62% for African-Americans.
- For interacting in person at a branch of their bank or credit union weekly or more, the statistics are 22% for whites, 28% for Latinos, and 32% for African-Americans.
Looking at the option of interacting with one’s bank or credit union by mail, overall 56% of respondents said that they interacted with their bank or credit union through mail.
- For interacting monthly or more with a primary bank or credit union by mail, the numbers are 26% for whites, 37% for Latinos, and 41% for African-Americans.
- For mail interaction weekly or more, the percentages are 7% for whites, 14% for Latinos, and 9% for African-Americans.
The last option we asked about was interacting with one’s bank or credit union by phone.
- Overall, 79% of people said that at some time they interact with their primary bank or credit union over the phone.
- A higher percentage of African Americans (48%) than Latinos (41%) interact with their primary bank or credit union over the phone at least monthly — both much more so compared to whites (26%).
- The picture is similar for interacting with banks or credit unions weekly or more, with 18% of African-Americans, 17% of Latinos, and 12% of whites giving this response.
In sum, we see an overall pattern in which Latinos and African-Americans have more interaction with their banks and credit unions than whites do. Given that the median net worth of white households is about ten times that of Latino households and thirteen times that of African-American households, this pattern may be related to relative economic inequality and financial need.
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September 26, 2017