Will Consumers Ditch Paper Statements to Dodge Banking Fees?

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More and more institutions are trying to cut costs by offering restricted accounts, like eChecking and Rewards accounts. Others charge a fee for paper statements or offer a discount or complete waiver for opting out of paper statements. Today, only about 10% of accounts on FindABetterBank require account holders receive electronic statements with their checking account and nearly 25% of accounts that do offer paper statements charge a fee. But will shoppers agree to go paperless as these cost-saving practices become more common?

One thing is certain: With banks and credit unions look to reduce costs and grow non-interest revenue, the trend towards eStatements will surely continue. Fortunately, most people shopping for a new banking relationship are willing to adopt eStatements to avoid fees. Institutions will find it easier to encourage existing customers to adopt digital delivery if their eStatements are better than their existing paper statements.

In a recent BankChoice Monitor survey fielded by Novantas, active bank shoppers were asked what parameters they’re comfortable with in order to have monthly service fees waived on their checking account. The range of conditions included online banking and paying a certain number of bills per month, to having multiple products with an institution. Among all of the options presented, most consumers indicated they’d be comfortable receiving monthly statements electronically.

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Older consumers are least comfortable receiving eStatements. People can be set in their ways in terms of how they balance their checkbooks and file away their statements. Shoppers 50 or older are most likely to be uncomfortable forgoing paper statements. However, the survey indicated that 66% of these shoppers are willing to receive eStatements in order to waive monthly service fees.

“Young” Gen X is comfortable receiving eStatements. Nearly 80% of respondents aged 30-39 said they’d be comfortable receiving eStatements in order to waive monthly fees. Time and again, we see this group of consumers most comfortable with banking digitally. This group is also more likely to open an account online, pay bills with their smartphone, and demand mobile features more than any other age group.

Low income households lag higher income groups. The percentage of shoppers indicating they’re comfortable receiving eStatements to waive monthly fees correlates with income. 67% of respondents with an average income of under $25,000 are comfortable adopting online statements as a requirement in order to waive their monthly fee, compared to over 75% of respondents with income more than $100,000.

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