In order to understand the benefits of electronic statements over paper statements we must look at the benefits of electronic banking as a whole versus traditional banking. One of the first benefits cited in the switch from paper to electronic banking is the environmental impact of the reduced waste of paper. While there certainly is a case to be made for this, it is not one of the primary benefits. The biggest benefit is convenience followed by cost savings. Most Americans today either have personal computers or have access to personal computers. Even those who do not have access to personal computers can still bank electronically using automated phone systems and enhanced automated teller machines.
Electronic banking is quick, convenient and inexpensive. Entire financial institutions now exist centered around the premise of electronic banking. These “cyber-banks” offer much higher interest rates on savings and checking accounts and better interest rates on loans and mortgages because they do not have to incur the same facility and staffing costs associated with traditional brick and mortar banks. While the traditional neighborhood bank is far from obsolete, it is quickly becoming less and less necessary for your day to day banking needs.
With electronic banking you can instantaneously juggle funds, transfer money, check balances and pay bills all from the comfort of your own home. The personal computer has put the power of banking in the hands of the average consumer. No longer do you have to wait in long lines filling out cumbersome forms in order to conduct your financial dealings. Instead, a few clicks online, over the phone or through one of the new enhance automated teller machines at your bank or local supermarket and you can accomplish all your banking needs without the intervention of a traditional teller.
The advent of electronic banking now allows you to have all of your statements either sent to you via email or made available online for review. No longer are you burdened with having to file monthly statements away for your records, taking up precious time and space. All of your records from checking and savings accounts to money market and credit cards are now available for you online in an instant. Presented in electronic form they can be easily indexed and searched to quickly locate disputed transactions or reconcile your accounts without having to resort to line by line review of a paper statement.
Coupled with today’s modern financial tracking software such as Quicken or Money, you can interface directly with all of your financial institutions. Having instant and accurate information on your accounts allows you to act quickly in the event of an overdraft or possible identity theft case. Instead of having to wait until the monthly statement arrives to reconcile your accounts, you can do so almost the instant charges occur. It is a fast and convenient way to take total charge of your financial matters. Electronic banking and statements has revolutionized how we handle money by giving us the same information the banks have on a level we can understand it and best take advantage of changing situations.
A question such as this begs to address the environmental impact associated with the switchover from paper to electronic. Each month when we receive our bank account and credit card statements there is a massive amount of wasted paper in the form of advertisements, envelopes and other things. Prior to making the change to electronic statements I was astounded at just how much wasted paper there was in my monthly statements. The cost alone in postal expenses must be staggering. Additionally the cost of the paper, ink and man power to put these packets together all gets passed down to the customer in less advantageous interest’s rates and hidden service charges. With electronic billing and banking we can eliminate a massive amount of waste, not only in natural resources by in time and man power as well. Electronic banking and statements is by far the way of the future, and the future is here today.