What is Paperless Billing Statement: Pros and Cons
Paperless Billing Statement is a process where you access your monthly credit card statement online rather than getting a mailed copy. Each month, your credit card issuer will send an email once your statement is ready, and some credit card issuers for your convenience will also include your minimum payment due and the due date in the body of the email.
Before you take that bold step and make the choice of ditching the paper bills for paperless billing, let’s analyze the pros and cons to see if it’s worth the try.
Less Mail and Paper
You can be sure you’ll have less loose paper and clutter in your home with paperless billing. You also save time sorting through a barrage of bills and figuring how and what you should keep.
Your billing statement can be downloaded and saved on your computer or external drive and accessed at a later date when you need them.
Saving the Trees
Paperless statements are beneficial to the environment as it reduces the amount of paper usage. Fewer billing statement means less demand for paper and less air pollution from paper production. Thus when you sign up for paperless billing, some credit card issuers make their own contributions to the environmental causes.
Get Perks for Online Billing Statements
Some credit card issuers give incentives to cardholders for signing up for paperless statements. Some issuers, charge a fee to send a paper statement and waive this fee when you sign up to receive your billing statement online.
Identity Theft Prevention
Making a switch from paper bills to paperless billing could help prevent identity theft which may pop up as a result of a stolen mail. This is because mails are not mailed to your home, which makes it difficult for thieves to get their hands on your credit card number if your mail is intercepted.
Once you sign up for online billing, you’ll have another password and username to remember. Some sites have restrictions that require you to come up with a new password and username different from the one you normally use. The major disadvantage here is that you are likely to forget this password or username. If you can’t remember your password, signing into your account may not be possible. Thus for every time you forget your password, you have to go through the password recovery process to check your statement.
Easier to Miss Payments
Since the payment is received as a hard copy, you may forget to make your payment.
Less Access to Previous Statements
Since credit card issuers only make a certain number of statements available online, you may have to go through a few extra steps if you need more than what is offered to access older statements. You may sometimes have to pay a fee (for tax purposes) to get the statement.
Delay in Catching Credit Card Fraud and Credit Card Changes
You can easily forget to review your statements each month if you’ve set up an automatic payment for your account. This is a critical step in monitoring your account against credit card fraud. You are given 60 days to report billing errors, after which the credit card issuer can make you pay for purchases you never made.
Also if you pay without reading your statement, you won’t get an alert to changes in your minimum payment. If your minimum payment increases beyond the payment you’ve set, you’ll get hit with a late fee even if the payment is made on time. After 60 days, your interest rate increases, and the late payment status affects your credit report.
Email Address Change Notification
You are to update credit card issuer with a new email address, to avoid missing the monthly notification that your billing statement is ready. You could also miss an email intimating you about suspected fraud on your account or an alert to other changes to your account like a credit limit increase.