Digital bank statements make happier customers

Paper bank statements not as popularPeople who get digital bank statements -- not paper -- are happier with their bank, according to a study researched by Javelin Strategy and Research.

The study was paid for by PayItGreen, a website whose mission is to convince people to choose electronic instead of paper statements. The website, incidentally, is funded by financial institutions like banks, financial industry service providers and numerous other businesses.
I admit that I'm rolling my eyes a little at the results of this study. I don't really doubt people as a group are starting to prefer digital statements, but I can imagine that it wouldn't be hard to frame questions so that, yes, you learn people would be happier without paper statements.

In any case, the main reasons people said they prefer digital statements to paper ones are:
  1. The digital version was easier to access online (62%)
  2. It reduced clutter (50%)
  3. It eliminated paper waste (49%)
According to the study, which surveyed 5,000 people, it's younger banking customers who are driving the movement to go paperless. Approximately half of the 25- to 34-year-olds who responded have gone paperless and voted for automatic shut off of paper statements. As a group, the 55- to 64-year-olds are slipping behind; only 20% of those surveyed had gone paperless.

I'm also rolling my eyes at the study's assertion that people are all that much happier with their bank due to fewer paper statements. Would I really be all that more happy with my bank if I only received a digital copy of my statement (I currently get statements both via snail mail and e-mail)? I don't know about you, but in my list of "Things on My Mind," the issue of whether I receive a paper bank statement in the mail or a digital one via e-mail is probably Number 4,356,021.

On the other hand, according to PayItGreen, if 10% of American households switched from paper to electronic bills, statements and payments, nearly 2 million trees, 151 million pounds of paper and more than 100 million gallons of gas would be saved every year. And if we as a nation can save all those trees, paper and gas, that should make anyone happy.
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