Is online banking safe?
Q. I keep hearing that I should stop getting paper statements and opt for electronic ones. Why should I sign up for online bills and statements?
A. Most billers and financial institutions prefer to send out electronic documents because they’re much less expensive to create and deliver. But less than 15% of consumers receive their bills and statements online. Some large companies have offered prizes as an incentive for customers to go paperless. Other companies may simply penalize you with a monthly fee or deny you access to online archives if you insist on getting paper statements via snail mail.
If a company offers e-bills or e-statements, here are six reasons why I recommend that you sign up for them:
Better for the environment. Online documents save paper and delivery fuel.
More security. Paper mail can be taken from your mail box by thieves and used to steal your identity.
Less clutter. The less paper you have to process or throw away, the better.
Flexible storage and printing options. You can print out any online document or save it on your computer, external hard drive, or at an off-site storage service.
Convenient remote access. If you’re traveling for work or take an extended vacation, you can do all your money management anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
Less expense. As I mentioned, companies may charge you for not receiving a digital document. I’ve seen credit card companies charge as much as $5 a month for a paper bill!
See my full episode about banking online for more.
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