Online Banking Makes Customers Happy

A new study out from the National Automated Clearing House Association claims that the more online banking you do, the happier you’re likely to be. It’s all about ridding your world of physical clutter, and psychologists say online banking is a great way to accomplish just that.

Here’s the skinny: NACHA co-sponsored a study with the Web site PayItGreen.org to examine the satisfaction levels of customers who pay bills entirely online and those who pay via the traditional “check in the mail” approach.

Obviously, Pay It Green has a stake in this race – they want you pay your bills electronically (their tagline is Good for the Environment. Good for You.) The organization is a consortium of financial institutions that, according to the Web site, “is committed to educating consumers and businesses about the positive environmental impacts of choosing electronic payments, bills, and statements over paper. By choosing electronic payments, the amount of paper in circulation can be significantly reduced—which benefits the environment.”

So we ought to take the study’s findings with a grain of salt. But even so, it draws a helpful picture of how consumers feel about getting – and paying – their bank and financial bills online versus in the mail.

The conclusion? The study says that financial consumers who receive their bills via U.S. mail are 10% less happy than those who conduct all their billing online.

Not surprisingly, younger financial consumers have been more inclined to pay their bills electronically, while older Americans are slower to embrace the online-only approach. The study says that consumers aged 55 to 64 “lag farthest behind in paperless statement adoption at 20 percent, and twice as many 25- to 34-year-olds have gone paperless.”

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