Take just a few minutes from your day to free yourself from the repetitive paper clutter involved with banking.
I can’t stand having to retrieve bank statements I don’t keep, shred credit card offers I don’t want, and print ATM receipts that I don’t need.
Paper is becoming increasingly irrelevant and more of a nuisance as the digital era introduces a banking lifestyle that revolves around convenience. The widespread adoption of online and mobile banking renders the majority of banking paperwork useless.
Like most Americans nowadays, I am capable of tracking and managing my financial accounts through my computer and smartphone. So, I’ve long taken the leap to paperless banking.
Given that the transition takes all but ten minutes in total, there is little reason for others not to follow in my footsteps.
For deposit accounts, monthly paper statements do not serve much of a purpose if you can access them online. Should you need a paper version for documentation, you can always print it out.
For credit card bills, you may need the payment slip but paying online is simply too quick and convenient in comparison.
If you haven’t already opted for electronic statements, simply log into your online account and there is likely to be reminders for you to sign up. Otherwise, check your account settings or contact the bank to get paperless statements.
In fact, banks have resorted to charging for paper statements because of loss revenue from new regulations. So, you have an even greater incentive to cut out the paper clutter.
Credit Card Offers
It seems as if the second you become eligible for a credit card, so-called pre-approved offers arrive if your mail box with non-stop regularity.
At one point, I had received three different offers for the same credit card at the same time. More often than not, most of these credit card offers are already available online.
Furthermore, I’d prefer not to see these offers every day to avoid the temptation of lucrative sign-up offers just to fall into a heap of debt soon after.
Visit OptOutPrescreen.com to opt out of receiving these pestering credit card offers. It is a service formed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act that lets consumers remove themselves from lists that credit bureaus provide to card issuers.
You can opt out from these credit card offers for next 5 years or forever. Whenever you want to begin receiving offers again, you can opt back in.
Rest assured that all provided information, such as name, Social Security number, and address, is safe. Within a few weeks, you will notice a drastic decrease in the amount of mail you receive.
You’ve seen it before. Walk into an ATM lobby during off-hours and there are ATM receipts littered across the floor.
Bank customers know that there is absolutely no need to print out an ATM receipt for most of their transactions. Yet, they still do it – a double violation of wasting paper and contributing to pollution.
Take 30 seconds to visit the “Preferences” option at the ATM and make it a default setting to not print receipts. Or, you can log into your online account and configure your ATM preferences at home.
Benefits of Less Paper Junk
By taking the paperless route, you can cut down the materials costs for banks, play a role in maintaining environmental friendliness, and reduce the chances of identity theft from stolen mail.
Of the three, identity theft poses the greatest potential damage on the personal level. Your personal information and parts of your account information is often revealed on financial documents.
Thieves can piece together your personal profile and use your identity to commit all sorts of fraudulent activity. While there are innovations in identity theft protection, it is better to avoid it in the first place.
For me, the time savings, the responsibility to be environmentally aware, and the identity security are all convincing reasons to go paperless.
If you’ve been reluctant to take the above steps, what is holding you back?
Follow Simon in the MyBankTracker.com Community and on Twitter: @simonzhen.