Ashley here from AllClear ID.  We’ve all seen those offers to change our billing to paperless from a bank, utility company, or even a credit card company. Many companies are not only trying to protect their clients/customers, they are working to be “green” and cut-down on paper costs.  Have you questioned the safety of your information with paperless billing online vs. the traditional snail mail? Here are some of the benefits you receive by choosing to go paperless.

  1. Help the Environment- Opting to go paperless will reduce not only paper use but also fuel to transport it and time being expended on something that could easily be sent via email.
  2. Decrease Waste and Clutter- Studies show a direct link between decreasing clutter/waste and benefits to consumer’s physical and mental well-being. The simple act of removing stacks of paper can eliminate up to 40% of housework in the average household and reduce breeding grounds for dust mites, pet dander, and dust.
  3. Save Time- Harris Interactive reports that 23 percent of adults lose bills and incur late fees because they couldn’t locate their statement or forgot about it. This is something paperless billing can eliminate almost entirely since most email accounts have search options to find and locate each bill more easily.
  4. Easier to Manage and Store- Since paperless billing allows you to download statements in a PDF form, storing them can be as simple as creating a file/folder in your email to keep previous statements. To manage your monthly reoccurring bills, you can create alerts and reminders that the bills are due and once paid remove it from your inbox and file into the appropriate folder. The cleanup process once a bill is paid as simple as drop and dragging your mouse!
  5. Incentives from Companies- Many companies offer a cash incentive to receive paperless bills. For example, some companies are offering a $5 cash rebate off your next bill to go paperless today! Check with your providers to see if there are ongoing incentives you can take advantage of. Protect Your Identity and Gain Security – The Postal Service reported 9.9 million American were victims of ID theft in 2009- a portion of these were the result of stolen mail.  By receiving your bills online you can feel assured that your mailbox isn’t holding they key for criminals to get a hold of your identity.

The FTC has great tips on how to “Just Say No” to unsolicited mail.  Check out their site for great information.

If going paperless is something you are not ready for at this time, there are ways to protect your current mailbox and any documents that are delivered, as discussed in some of our previous blogs.