Only 3 out of 10 Romanians over 55 still prefer the brick and mortar bank

Miruna Macsim 09/08/2023 | 17:38

Revolut, the global financial super app with 30 million customers globally and 3 million in Romania investigated how the various generations approach banks to manage their money. The study* was carried out in July 2023 in collaboration with the research company Dynata, on a representative sample of the Romanian population of 1,000 adults.


39% of respondents prefer to use digital banks, primarily for flexibility (26%) and for better control of their money (13%). Only 4% of respondents prefer brick-and-mortar banks because they trust them more than digital banks. Also, 9% of respondents said they prefer the high street banks because they can provide advice from a consultant.

Differences also exist at the level of regional communities. The biggest supporters of digital banks are residents of the west of the country (49%), while in the south (Muntenia), the mixed model of a bank with a physical presence, doubled by a digital banking app, is more popular (44%). Residents of the northwest of the country are fans of the classic physical banking model (15%), while, on the opposite pole, Bucharest and Ilfov’s residents are the biggest opponents of this model (5%).

Millennials – at least 2 bank accounts

Most Romanians (42%) have at least two bank accounts, but the champions are the Millennials (53%). GenX stands out for having more bank accounts – 28% say they have between 3-5 bank accounts.

Only 3% of respondents have no bank account, and the percentage is the same for both women and men. The most consumers who do not have any bank account are found among GenZ representatives (8%), a percentage higher than the national average, while the 35-44 age group has the lowest percentage of “no account” responses banking” (0.9%).

Smartphone banking: the choice of 48% of Gen Z representatives

One out of two Romanians from Generation Z prefers the smartphone bank to the one with a physical presence. 35% of them prefer the digital bank because it offers more flexibility, and 13% for increased control over money. The preference for digital banking is much more evident among Generation Z, Millennials and partly GenX, with percentages varying between 45% and 50%. Respondents aged over 45 are in favor of a mixed solution – classic banking services combined with a digital banking application (the highest value, 49%, is noted in the 55-64 age group).

“We always want to hear the customers’ opinion about the trends in the finance and banking industry. If we look at the preferences of the public under 45, smartphone banks are now replacing traditional ones and can aspire to become the primary account in all respects. They are considered more flexible and more useful in keeping track of their expenses, at any time and wherever the customer is. 

When a digital bank offers an excellent experience, there is no longer any need to go to the branch, everything can be managed quickly over the phone. Thus, when the Revolut Bank branch in Romania will become operational, we will continue to offer customers the same experience – 100% digital. Moreover, customers will be able to easily transfer their salaries directly to their Revolut account in the local currency, they will be able to benefit from even more banking products (savings deposits, personal loans), they will make payments to various public institutions, they will be able to exchange money in more than 30 currencies, without having to go to a bank office, adjust their daily agenda or fill in forms. Just as always with Revolut, they will solve all their money needs directly in the app, using their smartphone,” says Gabriela Simion, General Manager of Revolut Bank branch in Romania and Italy.

Digital banking and apps help with expenses monitoring. Even Baby Boom generation loves this

Eight out of ten Romanians (78%) believe that keeping a record of expenses can help them manage their personal budgets. 41% already do this and turn to apps and digital banking tools to track their spending. However, 15% of respondents claim that they do not track their expenses, either because they do not think that this would improve their financial situation (10%), or because they intend to cut their purchases (5%) without tracking them.

Differences also exist between communities in different regions of the country. Residents in the center of Romania and Oltenia prefer technology to track their personal budgets (43% of respondents in each region), and 23% of residents in the northwest of the country prefer the classic, paper version. Oltenia also has the highest percentage of respondents who are open to using tools to analyze expenses in detail, in this period of economic struggles (27%). On the other hand, for the residents in the Western region of the country, monitoring expenses is neither a way to reduce them nor to improve their financial situation (21%).

Revolut, the digital bank chosen by 3 million Romanian customers, offers a wide range of over 70 financial products that make people’s lives easier: physical and virtual cards for online, offline and contactless payments, instant money transfers locally and internationally, joint accounts, currency exchange with competitive rates, even split bill with friends in just a few taps. With Revolut it is possible to create savings Vaults, to get a personal loan, to invest in commodities, trading, cryptocurrencies or to enable lifestyle features helpful in organising the next trip or vacation (Stays, Experiences), to earn while spending with Shops and Rewards, or to help the kids to start managing their money with Revolut Revolut <18. With the Revolut super app, cards can be locked and unlocked at any time with a single tap, and every spend is followed up with a push notification.

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