Study Finds Significant Number of Consumers Who Have Switched to Electronic Billing and Payments Still Receive Paper Statements

Posted February 9, 2012

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Study Finds Significant Number of Consumers Who Have Switched to Electronic Billing and Payments Still Receive Paper Statements

Study Shows Trend, Known as “Double Dipping,” Exists Primarily Among Young and Technology-Savvy Consumers

Study Also Reveals Targeted Outreach Efforts by Financial Institutions and Billers Can Encourage Adoption of Completely Paperless Behaviors

HERNDON, Va., February 9, 2012 – According to a new White Paper released today by NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association and PayItGreen®, nearly 30 to 40 percent of consumers who receive their financial statements and bills online also receive paper versions.  The study, prepared by Javelin Strategy & Research, finds that this trend, known as “double dipping,” surprisingly exists primarily among Gen Y and Early Adopters.  Gen Y consumers are those between the ages of 18 and 32 and Early Adopters are those consumers identifying themselves as the first to try new technology.

“‘Double dippers’ present a number of challenges for financial institutions and billers,” said Jim Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin Strategy & Research. “By not fully disconnecting from paper bills and statements, ‘double dippers’ waste precious resources and create an unnecessary burden on the environment.  Additionally, they weaken financial organizations’ ROI and create inefficiencies by requiring twice the amount of service.”

Fortunately for financial institutions and billers, the study also showed that Gen Y and Early Adopters are more likely to respond positively to messages encouraging a complete transition to paperless.  According to the study, nearly 20 percent of Gen Y consumers simply forgot to turn off paper statements.  The study also showed that 41 percent of Gen Y and 48 percent of Early Adopters would be receptive to the automatic shut-off of paper statements when signing up for online billing and payments. 

“These findings present a significant opportunity for financial institutions and billers,” said Janet O. Estep, NACHA president and CEO.  “Through targeted educational programs and messaging, organizations of all types can counter the ongoing attachment to paper and encourage the adoption of paperless behaviors.  By doing so, they can reduce the impact of paper-intensive processes on the environment while maximizing efficiencies.”

To encourage the adoption of online-only behaviors with consumers, the study recommends that financial institutions and billers refocus their efforts to influence the younger, technology-savvy consumers, such as Gen Y and/or Early Adopters.  Recommendations include changing out-bound marketing messages and channels to better target Gen Y and/or Early Adopters, and creating appealing content and placing it on websites to attract Gen Y and/or Early Adopters. 

For more information about the study, please visit www.payitgreen.org.

About the White Paper
The White Paper, which is titled The Paper Statement Challenge: A Targeting Opportunity, is based on data collected by Javelin Strategy & Research for the NACHA 2011 PayItGreen® Survey. The online survey polled 3,502 U.S. adults based on representative proportions of geography, gender, age, income and ethnicity. The overall margin of error is +/- 1.66 percentage points on questions answered by all respondents at the 95 percent confidence level.

About PayItGreen®
PayItGreen® is a coalition led by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association whose members are committed to educating consumers and businesses about the positive environmental impacts of choosing electronic payments, bills, and statements over paper.  PayItGreen® members are small-to-medium-sized businesses, large corporations, credit unions, banks of all sizes, regional payment associations, processors and other financial industry service providers and stakeholders. To learn how your company can benefit from membership, please visit www.payitgreen.org/business.

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