The reasons we should switch from paper to electronic bank statements can be broken down into five catagories; reduced fraud, convenience, reliability, cost savings and its environmentally friendly. The internet has become part of just about everybody’s life now a days and it only makes sense to move our financial system online. Online banking has a multitude of advanntages and the disadvantages can be easily remedied for a smooth transition.
Online banking can reduce fraud in many ways. There’s no paper statement sitting in your mailbox where somebody can steal it. Also not all postal workers are as honest as you would think. I’ve heard plenty of stories of somebodies mail getting opened and used for identity theft.
It is in fact harder to forge an electronic statement than a paper copy. Try to Photo Shop a bank statement and you’ll find its much easier said than done.
All bank sites use the https protocol which is a secure way of sending information over the internet. Your browser encrypts the information it sends via Secure Socket Layering. Even if a suspected identity theft were to intercept your information it would be encypted. The most powerful computer in the world would take 40 years to crack the encryption.
You can view charges almost instantaniously. You can look online at your days charges to see if there is anything suspicious. I personally look at my accounts every single night before I go to bed to make sure everything is in order. You can stop fraud within hours of it happening. You don’t have to wait till the 5th of the next month for your paper statement.
Online banking is extremely convenient. As mentioned above you can see your charges instantly. You know exactly where you stand at any given point in time. Disputes are just a click away. Also details on transactions are just a click away. You can view check images usually the next day they clear. If your at a friend’s house and you need to see if you have enough cash for that Xbox game you’ve been wanting you can hop online and view your account. You don’t have to either hope your check register is up to date or go home to look at a paper statement.
You have to also keep in mind that you can still print your online statements. You just have them electronicly delivered. Then you can have a hard copy if there’s every an issue.
People always say but what if you can’t access the internet then what? You have automated phone services that can tell you just about anything you need. If the power is out once again if your phone line is working you can call or better yet use your cell phone. I’ll admit that these forms are slightly less secure but so is letting the mail man have your bank statement every month. If you are one of the few individuals that doesn’t have the internet you can always go to your public library. There computers are just as secure as the one you have at home.
When you switch to electronic statements you are helping the environment. Less trees are being but down just so you can look at what you spent last month.
Electronic statements are much more efficient and save companies money. If every customer switched to electronic statements companies would save billions of dollars. Now you might ask so what? They don’t need anymore money. The thing is the savings are large enough that they will pass at least most of it down to you in the form of lower interest rates on loans and higher rates on interest bearing accounts. This can be seen with online only sites where they offer rates on savings accounts of roughly 7 times more than your traditional bank.
Going electronic just makes sense in the natural progression of things. The transition needs to happen gradually and I can see in the future that banks will start to offer more and more incentives to go electronic. I don’t see companies switching entirely over to electronic statments for many years mainly because there are still a few people who don’t see the sense in electronic statements. Companies will just start charging for paper copies.