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Going Paperless: How Digital Receipts Benefit Banking Customers

How digital receipts benefit banking customers

Going paperless is something that many of us have done naturally with the advent of online and mobile banking and billing. It has become easy to receive bills via email, pay them electronically, and say goodbye to the build-up of paper bills that need to be shredded before they can be recycled. One area where the paperless approach has lagged is in point of sale receipts, where a traditional paper receipt is sometimes the default.

At Leaders Credit Union, we care about you and your financial goals and that means doing whatever we can to make it easy to manage your money. Digital receipts play an important role in digital and mobile banking, help to eliminate paper waste, and can make it easy to manage your finances. This guide will help you understand what digital receipts are, how they work, and how they can benefit you as a consumer and credit union member.

What Are Digital Receipts?

Digital receipts are receipts that are created and sent electronically. They may be sent via email, text message, or through a mobile app, and they allow sellers to avoid the time and expense associated with paper receipts. They may sometimes be called electronic receipts or e-receipts.

Apple was on the cutting edge of the use of digital receipts. They started sending electronic receipts to customers in the Apple Store all the way back in 2005. Since then, the use of digital receipts has grown exponentially and virtually all companies offer them to customers.

How Do Digital Receipts Work?

Since most companies and retailers now offer digital receipts, let’s talk about how they work. In most cases, a company can send you an electronic receipt even if you pay with cash and in person. There are electronic payment providers who can also create digital records of your purchases, including PayPal and Venmo.

At a point of sale, after you pay for your purchase, a cashier or representative may ask if you want a paper or digital receipt. If you opt for a digital receipt, you’ll need to provide the seller with a way to send it to you. Usually, the options are your email address for an emailed receipt or a mobile number if you want an SMS receipt.

Digital receipts may be uploaded directly to money management or mobile banking apps and tools such as QuickBooks. If you use a digital wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, the wallet will provide you with a receipt that you can use in your accounting and budgeting.

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What Are the Benefits of Digital Receipts for Banking Customers?

Whether you have your accounts at a credit union or bank, there are some ways that digital receipts can benefit you. Here are some of the most important advantages of going paperless.

Easy Storage

Digital receipts are far easier to store than paper receipts. You don’t need to worry about finding space to keep your receipts when you go paperless. You also don’t need to worry about digital receipts being damaged by moisture, heat, or pests. Every digital receipt will be waiting for you wherever you put it, whenever you need it.

Easy Access

Accessing digital receipts is extremely easy because you can keep them stored on your mobile device, in your accounting app, in the cloud, or on your laptop or computer. If you opt for cloud storage, you can access receipts from anywhere, provided you have a secure wireless connection. If you need to view a receipt from a mobile device, it’s easy to do so.

Extra Security

When you go paperless, you have additional security around your financial transactions. You can protect your digital receipts with a password or PIN. You won’t need to worry about them getting lost, misplaced, or stolen either—so your financial information can’t fall into the wrong hands. US federal law requires businesses to truncate sensitive personal information, including credit card numbers, so you can rest easy knowing that your digital receipts are secure.

Faster Than Paper Receipts

There are times when waiting for a paper receipt can steal time from your already busy day. Electronic receipts are created and transmitted instantly, meaning that you’ll shave time from your errands. You can rest easy knowing that your electronic receipts will be waiting for you when you get home.

Sorting and Searchability

If you have ever had to keep paper receipts, you know how important it is to have a filing system—and how hard it can be to find what you want. With digital receipts, you have the option to sort your receipts in an instant and search for something specific when you need it, which can save you precious time when you’re reviewing your finances or filing your taxes.

Upload Directly to Accounting or Tax Software

One of the biggest benefits of switching to digital receipts is that you can take those receipts and upload them directly to your accounting, budgeting, or tax software. You won’t need to spend time scanning receipts to include with your electronic tax return. You can add them directly from your email or cloud storage.

Eco Friendly

Any time a business prints a paper receipt, natural resources are being used. For a lot of consumers and businesses, the opportunity to provide and keep accurate records without killing trees is appealing, and digital receipts make it possible to track your purchases while cutting back on solid waste and protecting the environment.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the benefits we have already mentioned, it has become increasingly common for retailers to offer perks to customers who opt to receive digital receipts. A lot of stores have loyalty programs, point programs, or personalized offers that are sent to customers electronically, providing an incentive to go paperless.

Are There Any Downsides to Digital Receipts?

We believe that the benefits of digital receipts outweigh the risks and disadvantages, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about those things.

Retailers Have Your Email Address or Phone Number

The only way to get a digital receipt instead of a paper one is to give the retailer or seller a place to send it, meaning your email address or phone number. The downside here is that you may end up receiving unwanted marketing emails and texts.

Your Information May Be Sold to a Third Party

We wish it weren’t the case, but some companies take email addresses or phone numbers from the information they collect and sell them to third parties. If you request a digital receipt from someone who engages in this practice, you may find yourself at the receiving end of an influx of offers and solicitations that you didn’t want or request.

Digital Receipts Can Get Caught in Spam Filters

While it is easy to get and store digital receipts, there is a possibility that your receipts could get caught in a spam filter, making it difficult to find and store them. The issue is that a lot of spammers and scammers send emails that look like they’re transaction records in an attempt to trick recipients into giving up their personal information.

Tips for Managing and Storing Digital Receipts

If you decide to go paperless, the most important thing you can do is manage your digital receipts properly. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  1. Ask what other emails or texts you’ll receive the first time you get a digital receipt from a seller. Some may not send you anything extra while others may send a lot. It helps to be prepared.
  2. Use a secure password. Even if your receipts don’t have your credit card number on them, you still don’t want anybody unauthorized to access them. Make sure to use a secure password that incorporates uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Never give your password to anybody you don’t trust.
  3. Create a system to store your digital receipts for easy access. There are apps you can use (Zoho is an example) where you can both scan paper receipts and create a rule to forward electronic receipts from your email to the app.
  4. Keep business and personal receipts separate. If you’re a business owner and need to file a separate tax return, you’ll have a far easier time doing so if you have a separate filing system for your business receipts.
  5. Check your spam folder regularly. If you find any receipts there, move them to your storage system. At the same time, add the sender to your “safe sender” list or set up a filter to make sure future receipts go to the right place.
  6. Scan printed receipts as soon as you get them. Not everybody offers digital receipts, so if you get a paper receipt, use a receipt scanner to scan it and store it with the rest of your receipts. That way, everything will be in the same place.
  7. Monitor your email and texts for unwanted solicitations. You may not be able to prevent businesses from selling your information, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble by unsubscribing immediately when you receive something you don’t want.

These tips will help you to minimize your risks and maximize your security as you store your digital receipts.

Explore Digital Banking with Leaders Credit Union

Going paperless is easier than ever since most businesses now offer their customers the option of getting a digital receipt. The information and tips we’ve provided here can help you make a seamless transition to using digital receipts by allowing you to organize, store, and access them safely.

Are you seeking a financial institution that cares as much about your financial future and digital security as you do? Leaders Credit Union would love to have you as a member! Learn about the benefits of membership here, or check out our online banking quick start kit to get started with secure mobile banking.

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