Banks: Saving the World, One Check at a Time

With Earth Day upon us, many tend to start thinking about how we can help the environment. We can all do our part, but did you know that many of the latest advancements in banking technology can help you be a greener customer?

Reduce your carbon footprint, don’t drive to the bank.

As I started thinking about this article, one thing kept jumping into my mind. With advancements in internet banking and mobile banking technologies, why do we even need to drive to a branch anymore? The answer, of course, is that we don’t. Most of our typical daily transactions, from checking balances to making deposits; and even grabbing some cash in some cases, can be done wherever is convenient.

With internet banking you can pay bills, transfer funds, check transactions and even open accounts. All from the comfort of your home. Do it in your jammies, we don’t care! Through mobile banking you can do all of those things (with the exception of open accounts), plus deposit checks.

Lastly, through advancements in ATM technology and the placement of those ATMs in convenient locations where you were going to be driving anyway, you can grab some cash. Some ATMs, like the one at our branch in Gallipolis Walmart, can even accept deposits of both checks and cash. You don’t even need a deposit slip, which brings us to our next point…

Save a tree, don’t write that check.

Anyone who has ever watched an Earth Day special on TV knows that less paper is better, right?

For the customer, the biggest source of paper has to be in two places, statements and checks. Banking technology has advanced to the point that neither of those things are really necessary these days.

Statements aren’t necessary? Well, yes they are, but PAPER statements aren’t. Through the use of electronic statements (eDelivery), you can have a digital copy of your statement emailed to you rather than mailed through the traditional post office. For some customers, that can really be a lot of paper pages they don’t have to have lying around the house (or in the shoebox, you know who you are).

Another way of reducing our paper usage is to reduce our check usage. Checks used to be a really big deal. There is still a place for them, but as technology advances the need for checks grows smaller and smaller. With online bill pay, you can set up certain payees as electronic payees. What does this mean? It means your payment will get there faster and no paper check is ever written.

The other way of reducing check usage is to pay with a debit card. Beyond the benefits to the customer (rewards, faster reconciliation of the account and convenience at the register), that’s one less paper check you are writing. Some retailers even do e-receipts, which completely removes paper from the equation.

Doing our part.

Are you going to patch the ozone layer by not driving to the bank or rebuild the rainforests by not writing that check? Probably not. But one thing I’ve seen over and over is helping the environment isn’t about one person changing the entire world. It’s about many people changing their own little part.

About Tony
Assistant Cashier, Director of Product Development for Ohio Valley Bank, specializing in mobile technology, web development and social media.

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