Bank of America said it’s going to modernize more than 50 percent of its branches to match the changing way people bank, according to a report by Reuters.
The change will happen over the next three years at about 2,500 financial centers. The modernized branches will have more interactive technology and a layout that will help customers who need longer visits for more complicated issues.
“We have been very encouraged by the initial results of our center redesigns and expansions,” said Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking and Investments for Bank of America. “This work has enabled us to have more in-depth conversations with our clients about their financial plans and priorities.”
The bank originally planned to redesign 1,500 centers, but the new plan will accelerate that. It will also upgrade 16,000 ATMs with new features like paying with phones and the ability to pay credit card bills. There’s also a plan to install 2,700 new ATMs.
David Tyrie, head of consumer advanced solutions and digital banking, said that by 2021 Bank of America’s branches and ATMs will cover upwards of 90 percent of the population in the United States.
The number of people who actually visit physical branch locations is dropping, according to a study published this year by consulting firm McKinsey, the report noted. It fell from 38 percent to 26 percent in 2016. As more and more people are handling routine transactions online, banks have been slowly reducing the number of branches they have.
However, recently some banks have chosen to go in the opposite direction. BoA said it’s going to expand to Cleveland and Lexington, Kentucky next year, and it previously made a pledge to open 500 new branches.
JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States by assets, has also started adding new branches. It said it was going to open branches in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. The bank has about 5,000 branches all over the country.
BoA has around 4,300 branches, which is down 1,000 from its zenith.