There are considerations on both sides that need to be addressed, but for the most part, people should opt-out of receiving paper statements and instead use only Internet statements. One advantage of receiving paper statements is that you will have a concrete copy of your financial affairs delivered to you on a consistent, monthly basis. Additionally, if you have an adequate filing system, you will be able to pull up any record you need at a moments notice. On the other hand, Internet statements can also be accessed at a moments notice. Additionally, you will save paper because even if you print the Internet statement it will be less paper because there is no envelope or advertisements included when you print an Internet statement.
Many people enjoy the convenience of getting monthly paper statements. There is no work involved and, as stated above, if you have an adequate filing system, everything will be easy to access and utilize. However, there are usually many other things included with your statement. Advertisements, change of address forms, and bank offers are just a few of things that usually accompany your physical financial statements. This wastes paper because 99% of the time, we throw these additional papers away. As such, much paper is wasted when you receive a physical financial statement.
Online statements provide you access to the status of your account over a secure connection. Therefore, you privacy is safe. Online statements are also updated immediately (most of the time), and therefore, you will have a more accurate account balance than the one that you receive in the mail on a physical statement. In addition, when you receive on online statement all of the advertisements, change of address forms, and bank offers are not included. Therefore, there is less junk mail and less wasted paper.
Even though Internet statements offer advantages over paper statements, there are some disadvantages. First, Internet statements have a shelf life. In other words, if you want a statement that is over one year old (and sometimes less depending on the bank you use) you will have to order it (usually, this is free of charge), and this may take a business day or two for you to be able to access such a statement. Another disadvantage of Internet statements is that they are dependant on the bank’s website. Therefore, if the bank website is down for whatever reason, you will not be able to access your statements for a time. This may not be a big concern, but if you need access to your statements, it can be annoying to be denied the same.
There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides, but the disadvantages of Internet statements do not outweigh the benefits of the same. Additionally, the benefits of Internet statements outweigh the benefits of paper statements. As such, Internet statements are better and should be utilized as an alternative to paper statements.