HERNDON, Va. (7/6/12)--Although going paperless is a reason often cited for switching to online services, nearly 30% to 40% of consumers who receive financial statements and bills online also continue to receive paper statements, according to a white paper from NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association and PayItGreen.
The paper, which called the trend "double dipping," is based on a study by Javelin Strategy & Research. The trend wastes resources and creates an unnecessary burden on the environment, said Javelin. It also weakens financial organizations' return on investments and creates inefficiencies that require twice the service, said a press release from NACHA.
The most surprising find, according to the paper, was that the double dipping trend exists primarily among tech savvy Gen Y consumers (consumers between ages 18 and 32) and Early Adopters, who identify themselves as the first to try new technology.
Still, credit unions and other financial institutions may see some response if they urge their member/consumers to go completely paperless when they sign up for online statements. The study noted that 20% of Gen Y consumers simply "forgot" to terminate their paper statements when they switched.
The study also indicated that 41% of Gen Y and 48% of Early Adopters would be receptive to the automatic shutoff of paper statements when they sign up for online billing and payments.
"These findings present a significant opportunity for financial institutions and billers," said Janet O. Estep, NACHA president/CEO. "Through targeted educational programs and messaging, organizations of all types can counter the ongoing attachment to paper and encourage the adoption of paperless behaviors. By doing so, they can reduce the impact of paper-intensive processes on the environment while maximizing efficiencies."