Paperless Banking (rant)

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Paperless Banking (rant)

Postby Nuke » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:48 am

Has anyone here opted for paperless banking? I have not but I am nagged to "go paperless" every time I log on to one of my banking or building society accounts.

But I just had a foretaste of what it might be like. On the Nationwide site I wanted to look back at what money movements I had made in a savings account over a arbitrary long-ish period. The screen for that account was showing only the last month, which was a totally inappropriate default (and blank in my case) as this was an account with severely restricted withdrawals, but with tabs for 3 and 6 month periods, and a radio button for "Enter your own dates".

I entered my own dates - from two years ago until the present, and it was like "Sorry Dave, you can't do that". The furthest you could look back was just 15 months - and this is a long term savings account!

If this is a taste of paperless banking, they can keep it. Where I am sitting now at my desk at home I can reach a filing cabinet and pull out the file on this account and within seconds be reading the paper statements going back to the day I opened it. It should have been quicker on-screen, but instead it is impossible

I expect someone will brightly advise me that I can get copies of my old statements from NW for a nominal £5 fee (or some such - I've seen that somewhere, perhaps not with NW) or that I could print out a screenshot every month myself. (That reminds me of the old Civil Service story of the office ordered to destroy all their old files to save storage - they did, but photocpied everything first) But considering the abysmal interest they are paying me, and the money they have spent sponsoring football matches, I would rather they pay for the sheet of paper and stamp.
Last edited by Nuke on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby towy71 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:19 am

I don't do online banking!
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Postby el chapulín » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:09 am

I opted out of paperless banking. I find it quite ironic that they mention saving paper and thus trees and by extension the planet...

Then the following day a load of their junk mail arrives on the door mat with the loans, insurance, credit cards, mortgages, which I've told them repeatedly over the last few years I do not want... so much for saving paper...
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Postby Nuke » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:42 am

I cannot see any advantage whatsoever to the customer in opting for paperless banking. I do online banking, and I do not gather that there are any enhancements to the website for a paperless customer, so currently I have the advantages of both paper and paperless. I can look online at my balance and pay my bills without stamps, but I also have statements printed and sent to me that I can file. What is there to dislike? Saving them the stamps will allow them to increase my saving interest rate? Joke.

As for saving paper and planet, there are far less crucial areas for doing so than the paperwork to do with my bank account. Each day, the London Underground disposes of tons of unread Metro free newspapers alone. And there is the junk that comes through my letterbox, including a lot from banks as you say, junk which its creator has even had the nerve to place a notice telling me to recycle it.

Worryingly lately, some of the banks and credit card companies I have accounts with have started sending "Annual Summary Statements" - in addition to monthly statements. Why?? Because, I believe, this is a pre-cursor to replacing monthly statements by this annual one, for Internet customers at least.
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Postby bobthebob1234 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:35 pm

Tweet Nationwide about it :D I find that moaning publicly seems to get results faster.

I'm paperless with my bank (begins with a H, if you are really interested hunt down my tweets) but still get bits of paper, mainly credit card so my parents can see what I am buying :( (Still got billing address as home address cos I'm a student moving around a lot). Recently my bank updated their web services and as such I can't go back very far either now. I think it is a silly legal requirement.

I also don't tend to look back, I just want to know now much monies I have now and how much I owe, which online banking is great for. Maybe I am the new generation that all this fancy new stuff is for :)
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:24 pm

I have no probs with paperless banking, I can download any of my old statements as PDFs and file them on my PC.
(All my bank, savings and credit accounts now now offer this)
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Postby Paradigm Shifter » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:33 pm

The thing that annoys me the most about paperless banking/billing, is that often a utility bill/bank statement is required for the purposes of ID.

Is a PDF print up acceptable?

No.

So getting a utility bill is a nightmare. Some providers are helpful and will send out a paper bill on request (although occasionally the telephone person may want to charge you for the privilege) but others just won't play ball.

Banks are less difficult, as you can still walk into a branch and ask for a paper statement. However, this won't work on online only banks, just the ones with a physical presence. It's also reliant on having a branch nearby.

We need a new method of proof of ID/address when more than one form is required. :( Or alternatively, they need to accept home-printed statements. ;)
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Postby nelz » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:44 pm

Paperless banking is not the same as online banking. It is replacing the paper statements with PDFs, which means I can download and save them instead of having to go to the trouble of scanning in my paper statements before shredding the originals.
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Postby Nuke » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:52 pm

bobthebob1234 wrote:Tweet Nationwide about it :D I find that moaning publicly seems to get results faster.


Three or four years ago, I think it was Nationwide, did not even allow you to look back 15 months online, only 12. Considering that you do not fill in a tax return (if you are given one) until after the tax year is over, and the final-FINAL date for returning it is not until the following December, 20 months after the start of the tax year in question, being able to look back at your account for only 12 months is useless and even 15 may be no help. I did contact NW about this and shortly afterwards the time was extended to 15 months; but I do not believe that I alone was responsible for such a change - I expect many others complained too.

bobthebob1234 wrote:I also don't tend to look back, I just want to know now much monies I have now and how much I owe, which online banking is great for. Maybe I am the new generation that all this fancy new stuff is for :)


Perhaps it is not that you are a new generation, rather that as a student you have no savings ;-) But I have a savings account with NW (and other banks have similar) whereby you get a bonus interest rate if you do not make more than 5 withdrawals a year (if you do the interest rate reverts to b....gger all). So it is vital to be able to count previous withdrawals over 12 months.

But you have a point. I believe that people who design web sites, and indeed any systems for dealing with the public, assume that people behave like themselves, have likes and dislikes like their own, and have circumstances like their own. [The design of Windows 8 and Unity are examples of this effect]. However, I find that I rarely align with their assumptions.

nelz wrote:Paperless banking is not the same as online banking. It is replacing the paper statements with PDFs, which means I can download and save them


No it is not the same - I believe that paperless banking is a subset of online banking: ie it is the same online experience but minus the paper statements posted to you. Do you know differently? I have an account with HSBC with online banking where I get paper statements and I can also download PDFs. I did not need to go paperless to access the PDFs. Maybe it depends on which bank you are with whether you get PDFs freely.
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Postby nelz » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:01 pm

With Barclays you get either paper or PDFs. The PDFs are available back until you switched. It's the same statement just on a different medium, whereas online statements are different and usually quite limited in history. My experience with LloydsTSB was similar.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:32 am

I have submitted printed pdf bills as proof of identity.
As they are identical, who is to know?
I have also emailed pdf bills for an insurance claim.
In fact all of the communication on a recent claim to have a blocked sewer pipe repaired was handled by email.
Much better than being on hold for ages and pressing buttons to select options.
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Postby Marrea » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:31 pm

Paradigm Shifter wrote:The thing that annoys me the most about paperless banking/billing, is that often a utility bill/bank statement is required for the purposes of ID.

Is a PDF print up acceptable?

No.


Paradigm Shifter wrote:We need a new method of proof of ID/address when more than one form is required. :( Or alternatively, they need to accept home-printed statements. ;)


Banks in particular seem pretty strict about insisting they need to see originals for ID purposes. Barclays list four documents they will accept as confirmation of where you live, as follows:

To confirm where you live, we need to see an original version of one of the following:

- Photocard driving licence or UK full paper driving licence (if you haven’t already used this to prove who you are)
- National identity card (if you haven’t already used this to prove who you are)
- UK bank, mortgage or credit card statement that is less than three months old (internet statements aren’t acceptable)
- Utility bill (not mobile phone) which is less than three months old or current financial year council tax bill (internet statements aren’t acceptable)


It is those same banks of course who are always very keen to try and persuade you of the benefits of going paperless in the first place. :?
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Postby Bruno » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:18 pm

Are you folks still using fiat currency? :roll:
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Postby el chapulín » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:53 am

In my experience you absolutely require original documents. If you don't have them it's not their problem and simply tough luck. Many banks will charge you to reprint them, so it's a good idea to get the monthly "free" ones and just file them away "just in case".
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Postby nelz » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:04 am

That's one of the annoying things about this. The banks save a lot of money by not sending out paper statements, but pass none of that on. The "green" aspect is good PR for them and a way for you to make yourself feel good about increasing their profits.

At least BT offer a discount (or they used to) if you opted for paperless statements.

As far as the D thing is concerned, many institutions (including one that I do work for) no longer accept bank statements or utility bills as proof of ID, only documents from government or local authority agencies are considered acceptable now. Of course, I do my tax online now so I have very little paperwork from them either.
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