One Downside to Online Statements
Banks and credit unions would love nothing more than to persuade, or perhaps force, all checking customers to accept online statements.
I suspect that the day is not far off when the paper statement sent through the mail goes the way of paper checks returned in your monthly statements.
While banks and credit unions will definitely save money by eliminating the cost of paper statements, they’ll be surrendering a valuable marketing opportunity in the process.
Since I have two checking accounts at my local credit union I have the luxury of comparing online statements to the traditional paper statements. For about two years my primary checking account has online statements while my secondary account still provides the old-fashion paper statement that arrives each month via the U.S. Postal Service.
The only reason I retain my paper statement is that it provides me with both a hardcopy of the credit union’s informative newsletter and a statement insert from the marketing department.
Sure, I can go online to read the newsletter but I don’t and probably never will. As for the sales opportunity – it’s lost forever.
Upon landing on the typical bank or credit union website homepage, the consumer is bombarded with an array of messages which makes it almost impossible to determine what message replaces the statement insert message – if any.
This point was driven home to me a couple of days ago after opening my paper statement and discovering both a newsletter and an insert advising me that I can now use my credit union debit card, surcharge-free, to make a deposit or get cash at more than 2,200 7-Eleven stores nationwide.
This is great news as a 7-Eleven store is located a few blocks away.
Reading the insert carefully, I discover a reference to something called a CO-OP Network along with a website URL.
Mind you, it’s possible that my credit union has been a member of this network for years but this is the first time I’ve paid attention to this bit of information.
I immediately visited the CO-OP Network website and was delighted to discover that my debit card is also welcome at local Walgreens and Costco stores.
More great news – a new Walgreens store is located just down the street from my house.
Thanks to this informative insert shown below, I now have two more ATM locations that are closer to me than the one I use frequently in the grocery store a little over a mile away.
Not only is this more convenient for me, it’ll help lots of my friends, neighbors, family members – even complete strangers – who also bank at a local credit union. It’ll help them as I’ll be able to direct them to a closer ATM when asked – which happens frequently.
Often deemed an irritant by some consumers, the monthly statement insert arriving along with the paper statement was an excellent opportunity for the bank or credit union marketing department to inform its customers of a new product, a new service, a change in pricing, or some product or service enhancement.
The push for online statements means a lost marketing opportunity for the nation’s thousands of community banks and credit unions.
Oh, by the way, sending an email marketing notice in its place will simply get lost in the daily email clutter.