Going Paperless? 5 Ways to Best Manage Your eStatements
Technology is continually improving, and in this digital age, more banks are embracing the changing times and the evolving needs of their customers. As they invest in more digital processes, traditional systems of documentation and services are becoming rarer. In line with this, many banks are doing away with paper statements, or charging an additional fee if you want paper statements. Whether you are new to online statements, or you have been paper-free for some time, these are five strategies for best handling eStatements.
Understand your bank’s policies
First, see where your bank stands. Yours might offer both paper statements or eStatements, a choice of either, or an incentive for going paperless. While it may not make a difference if you’re ready to go digital, your bank’s policies on eStatements are an indicator of how they approach technology overall and how well they are positioned for the high-tech banking of the future.
When you log on to access your eStatements make sure to do so from a secure computer and preferably on personal wi-fi. Avoid banking in coffee shops or other places with public wi-fi. Protect your user name and password and change your password regularly.
Open it and check it
In a fast-paced digital world, it’s easy to overlook email or have emails get lost in your inbox. But it is important to not let alerts, from your bank, that your eStatement is ready slip by. When you get the email, log in to your online account and download and view your statement. Then take it line by line and review deposits and withdrawals to your bank account. If it is a credit card eStatement, make sure your charges and payments are accurate and your balance is in line with what you are expecting.
Keep them organized
Next, save the eStatements out of your email inbox and on to your computer. Create a filing system, whether that means printing them and maintaining physical copies, or creating digital folders on your computer and storing them based on month or type of account. No matter which system you choose, be diligent and stay organized. Financial account statements serve as a record of transactions and fees and interest charged. They are also needed when you are filing tax returns or applying for a mortgage or helping someone else settle their finances. Having them systematically organized can ensure they are readily available. This can also help in the future if you ever need to dispute a transaction, in which case you will often be required to provide a printed copy of the statement.
Keep your own tabs
Finally, when it comes to managing statements, whether paper or paperless, it is important to stay on top of your own spending and records. Banks have great systems, but everyone is human. Keep a spreadsheet of deposits, withdrawals and payments, and compare it every month to your eStatement. Also, keep contact information with the bank up to date, and if you have a savings accounts, CDs, or money market accounts, make sure that interest is accruing as expected and there are no surprises about balances or interest rates. It can also be helpful to note maturity dates on CDs so they don’t renew without your knowledge.
Banking services like eStatements can be convenient and easy. Moreover, less paper is better for the environment, and having statements securely sent to you electronically can even reduce your risk of mail fraud. Handled right, they can be a welcomed trend and an effective financial tool.
Contact your local team at M C Bank if you have questions about eStatements or to get set up on eStatements.