For those of you who still like getting paper statements in the mail, Rep. Mike Turner [R-Ohio] is trying to preserve that opportunity for you.
Last week, Rep. Turner introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would require financial institutions give customers the option to receive paper statements and prohibit financial institutions from withholding paper services unless customers switch to all digital statements. H.R. 6777 or the Protecting Against Paperless and Electronic Requirements (PAPER) Act has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
Why This Matters: About 20% of American households do not have access to the Internet, making it difficult for them to access their statements online, according to Rep. Turner. Senior citizens are also becoming disenfranchised by banks that are launching programs aimed at getting customers to go fully digital.
- The bill would apply to depository institutions and credit unions.
- For all the effort that is being put into digital collections, companies in the accounts receivable management industry may want to take this type of proposed legislation into consideration when developing strategies for collecting and communicating with consumers. Many companies seek to communicate with consumers in the channels that consumers find most convenient, and keeping in mind that not everyone has a smartphone or access to the Internet can be an important fact to remember.
What He Said: “Our country’s financial institutions have an obligation to ensure that Americans can reasonably utilize the banking services they need, and this legislation guarantees that individuals are still able to obtain paper bank statements,” said Rep. Turner. “For America’s senior citizens or those living in rural or underserved communities across the United States, online banking is not a viable alternative to paper billing, and the ultimatum of losing one’s account runs counter to the principles of economic freedom that we hold dear. The PAPER Act would bar institutions from restricting their services and make certain that all Americans can participate in our banking system, regardless of their ability to connect to the internet.”