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Industry Insight

Go Paperless? Not Just Yet

Earlier this summer,

By Richard Romano
Published: August 13, 2013

Fast-Fact-LogoEarlier this summer, our friends at Two Sides conducted a survey of 2,000 consumers to gauge the extent to which they truly want to accede to the requests of their creditors and “go paperless” in favor of electronic billing. So they? If I may channel my inner Richard Dawson...“survey says”:
  • 64% of consumers say they would not choose a company that did not offer a paper bill option.
  • 59% of consumers would refuse to switch to electronic bills and statements or would not take action when asked to do so.
  • 50% of consumers read their bills and statements received both electronically and by postal mail; only 15% read bills which they receive by email only.
What about the so-called sustainability of e-billing?
  • 72% agree that print and paper can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate if responsibly produced, used and recycled.
  • 50% of consumers either do not believe, feel misled by or question the validity of claims like “Save Trees, Go Paperless” and “Go Green, Go Digital.”
Now, mind you, there may be legitimate reasons to go paperless for financial transactions. Electronic bill payment, for example, is fast, efficient, and saves the time and expense of writing checks and foraging for stamps. And let’s face it, receiving bills and statements electronically can also be fast and efficient—but many of us still prefer to have a printed version for our records (and some of us have very Luddite accountants who don’t even like e-filing). As we have said many times on this blog, the decision to use paper of pixels is really about personal comfort, preference, and choice, and has nothing to do with any inherent sustainability of one medium or another. Go paperless if you want, but be honest about the motivation for it.

Please offer your feedback to Richard. He can be reached at richard@whattheythink.com.



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