There is no doubt that going paperless delivers a greatly positive environmental impact. Globally, more and more people are involving themselves in green initiatives. Decreasing the consumption of paper not only severely lessens our carbon footprint, but it also reduces the strain on our wallets. So making the decision to reduce your own personal paper usage should be a no-brainer, right? Easier said than done. Consumers are often hesitant to go paperless because of concerns in managing their financial documentation digitally. Security threats, privacy risks and the complexity of electronic processing have left great concern. But I’m here to tell you, need not worry! Financial institutions use strict cybersecurity protocols to ensure your personal information is safe while making digital banking a breeze.
Handling your financial documents electronically can save trees, time, money, stress and countless paper cuts. Let’s explore in depth several advantages of paperless billing and record-keeping.
Convenience: More businesses are providing the option for consumers to use paperless methods in transaction processing, to simplify the management of financial documents. These options include electronically delivered purchase statements, e-bills and digital bank account notifications. Arguably the most convenient and widely-used electronic financial function is the option to make online payments. Store credit card or banking information to make payments a one-click process, while eliminating the need for stamps, envelopes and return paperwork. Consumers can keep years of records in a laptop or on a thumb drive, with documents categorized for streamlined tax return preparation. Electronic billing also speeds up the payment process, with bills arriving directly in your e-mail inbox for easy and immediate recognition.
Cost Savings: Of course, paying bills online eliminates a number of paper-related expenses, including the cost of postage, envelopes and personal checks. Plus, with the power to select the exact date for a company to take the payment from your bank account, users can eliminate the risk of overdrawing accounts and the costly penalties involved. After submitting an electronic payment, a confirmation receipt will be emailed to the account holder so that they have the transaction in writing, which also helps to avoid double-payments. Some companies have even begun charging customers who prefer to use paper bills, and offer incentives for consumers to go paperless with electronic bill processing.
Eliminate Storage: Paper bills, notices and statements are on a constant monthly schedule. As they are repeatedly sent to your mailbox, the paperwork quickly piles up. A major benefit of managing financial documents electronically is in their storage – they don’t take up any space. By using a thumb drive or your computer’s hard drive financial documents can be kept within a consistent system of folders and file names for easy retrieval at any time. Plus, by receiving statements via an email address, all important documentation is already in a digital format, making it easy to extract attached documents to be saved. Banking log-ins also store your documentation within an online portal. This in return, delivers simple yet secure access to your records from anywhere with an internet connection.
Environmental Impact: According to PayItGreen.org, by eliminating paper bills, payments and statements alone, the average household would save 6.6 pounds of paper each year and avoid the release of 171 pounds of greenhouse gases. If all U.S. households were to go paperless, over the course of a single year it could save 16.5 million trees and reduce greenhouse gasses by 3.9 billion pounds. Additionally, it would eliminate 13 billion gallons of toxic wastewater and 1.6 billion pounds of solid waste in landfills. Although many people have made the switch to online banking, the majority of bank customers still receive bank statements and bills by mail, causing billions of pounds in paper production and consumption. Going paperless is an easy and free way to mitigate risks on our environment.
By taking your bank accounts paperless, you can help the environment, save time and decrease the clutter in your home all at once. This simple change can make a big difference. Managing financial documentation digitally saves you time filing documents and also helps reduce the amount of storage space you need. Plus, making the switch is only a few mouse clicks away. Stop paper statements today and do your part to better our environment.