Will Paperless Payments Take off? Pitney Bowes and Others Reveal Digital Delivery Service Applications

By Beck, Koa | CRM Magazine, May 2011 | Go to article overview

Will Paperless Payments Take off? Pitney Bowes and Others Reveal Digital Delivery Service Applications


Beck, Koa, CRM Magazine


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Volly, the latest digital delivery service application, has debuted in New York. During the press luncheon, Pitney Bowes, the proud parents, displayed the digital mail communications platform on a desktop, an iPad, and an iPhone.

The cloud-based platform allows consumers to receive, organize, and manage bills, statements, catalogues, coupons, and direct marketing from multiple providers through a single application. The service, which also includes online bill pay, is opt-in, consumer-focused, and a "lifestyle offer," Pitney Bowes says.

Forrester identified the growing need for a service like Volly in November in a report titled "Paperless Plight: Growing Resistance Outpaces Adoption Among U.S. Bank Holders." The report illustrated consumer commitment to paper despite advances in online banking.

"With more U.S. consumers accessing their bank accounts through multiple channels today, the value of a paper snapshot of their financial activity would seem to have shrunk considerably," writes Emmett Higdon, senior

analyst of e-business and channel strategy at Forrester Research. "And, yet, the percentage of U.S. bank account holders who have given up paper statements averages just 24 percent. Worse still, 37 percent of account holders who receive a paper statement today say they will never abandon paper in favor of online statements."

After surveying 3,545 adults, Forrester determined that checking, savings, and money market account holders constitute the largest number of adult paperless customers (28 percent).

Consumers remain attached to paper bills and statements out of a compulsion to save everything for personal records, putting little faith in a computer that could die or a hard drive that could crash, according to Higdon. Forrester highlights certain companies that have identified this gap, such as Wells Fargo and Citi, which store bank statements as far back as seven years.

Higdon calls for a new model in his report, writing that "as U.S. consumers make increased use of multiple banking channels, the static display of information provided by paper statements seems almost quaint by comparison."

In the context of Facebook, mobile devices, and mobile money management tools, Higdon says, customers should have a better alternative to mailed statements. …

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