February 12, 2013

The Problem with Bills in Our Email

How many of you have been asked to sign up for paperless delivery of your bills and statements? Maybe it is your credit card or your TV/cable bill. One thing is for sure, most of the people at Crawford Technologies, whether they are at Headquarters in Canada or our offices in the USA and Europe, have run into this situation in one way or another. 

As part of the print and mail industry and as experts in the digital document management and delivery field, our company has seen it all when it comes to the challenges of delivering printed or electronic transactional documents. However, most of the time we are dealing with the challenges as seen from the perspective of the provider and how to make sure the end-customer, who receives documents in various print and electronic forms, is satisfied. As you look at the landscape of how bills and statements are delivered, email is a popular notification tool. The problem is that it is quickly becoming unmanageable. 

How many emails do you get a day and in how many different email inboxes? Asking around the office, many of us have work and personal email addresses. There is also normally a policy in most workplaces not to mix personal emails and business. You may have every e-delivery notification of the bills you have to pay sent to your personal email address. What’s more, your personal email might not be as protected from junk mail as your corporate email and the advent of things like Groupon, Living Social, JetSetter and others mean that your personal inbox might be filling up with all sorts of email notifications—some important and some not so much. 

The problem starts to mount when you can’t easily tell if you have bills due. Some have a strategy of going to “auto-pay” so that they never miss a bill, but this doesn’t answer the requirement to keep your bills and statements for tax or accounting purposes. The end result is many emails, many different logins for each site and what effectively is a records management problem. All of this is driven by a cultural shift to move our traditional paper statements to paperless and e-delivery in order to reduce our carbon footprint. 

There is an answer to all of this email clutter and record keeping; it is a solution that is starting to gain momentum and being talked about by providers. This solution is Digital Mailbox Services and it is being offered in the USA by several different providers including doxo, Manilla, Zumbox and soon-to-be Volly. In Europe, many of the Post Offices have been providing Digital Mailbox Services for their customers since the turn of the millennium. The idea is simple; create an online presence of your mailbox that is secure and has storage for easy and accessible management of your critical mail. 

The challenge: a shift in thinking both at the billing provider level and at the consumer level to create critical mass and an advantageous environment to adopt the Digital Mailbox Services offering. How much easier would it be for you if you could manage all your electronically delivered mail, especially bills and statements, from one central mailbox with storage to keep track of it all for the foreseeable future? 

Leave us a comment and tell us how this would or wouldn’t change your daily life. 

[Photo courtesy of Social Biz Solutions]