Paper vs. paperless: Unpacking the myths

January 09, 2023

Paperless statements are a great way to declutter and keep yourself safe from financial predators. They’re accessible anytime, anywhere, and their positive impact on the environment is profound.

A common myth about paperless statements (formerly known as eStatements here at UBT) is that they’re not as safe as paper — and that’s just not the case. Let’s take a look at some of the common myths about paperless statements and do some debunking of those myths.

Myth 1: These statements come through my email, which isn’t secure.

This is false. We don’t send our paperless statements through email. We will send you an email and notifications through your online banking that your statement is available when it’s posted to your account. You’ll just log in to your online account or UBTgo app to access your paperless statements using the secure username and password you established.

Myth 2: Paperless statements are harder to view when I need them.

Quite the contrary. Switching to paperless statements makes your statements available to you wherever you go. You can view them on your computer or via the highly-rated UBTgo app while you’re out and about. While your paper statements sit stationary in a filing cabinet at home until you can get to them, your paperless statement can be pulled up on your account any time you need to view it.

Myth 3: There’s not enough environmental impact to be worth it.

Let’s take a look at the facts. The average tree can produce only about 17 reams of paper, and that same tree takes about 100 years to grow. The process of removing that carbon dioxide-absorbing tree from the ground adds roughly 110 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The tree now made into paper could have absorbed some of the rather large carbon footprint it took to make it into paper. There’s a heavy environmental impact from using too much paper, and paperless statements can certainly help.

Myth 4: Paper statements are more secure.

This one is mostly false. While we go to great lengths to ensure our paper statements are secure and addresses are updated so they get to your mailbox — giving it an element of truth — there’s still a lot beyond our control. Mail thieves could easily get your account statements if your mail isn’t delivered to a locked mailbox. The United States Postal Service estimates that there are as many as 1.7 million cases of mail thefts daily. These thefts leave you susceptible to identity theft, fraud, or theft from your accounts.

Myth 5: Paperless statements won’t be as convenient for me.

For most people, they’re MORE convenient! If you’re reading this on a smartphone, the amazing technological gadget in your hand allows you to access your statements anywhere and anytime you need them. Your statements are archived for 24 months too, and they’re all immediately accessible with the click of a mouse or tap of your screen. With paperless statements, you won’t have to wait until you get home from work to rifle through a file cabinet and hunt down your statement for review.

Myth 6: Fraudsters can steal my identity through online means.

Kind of true, but mostly false. Financial criminals can steal your identity through electronic means, yes. However, the percentage of financial crimes committed through breaches of your account remains a small percentage of fraud crimes. Online banking gives you a real-time look at the transactions in your account so you can spot fraud in an instant — and paperless statements are a part of that online banking.

If you have any questions about switching to paperless statements or best practices for protecting your account, we’d love to help. Reach out to a member of our Customer Support team for more information.

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