Citibank Demands Customers Go Paperless Or Lose Access To Accounts

Citibank Demands Customers Go Paperless Or Lose Access To Accounts

Citibank's "beta program" is one of many attempts by companies to push customers to opt for digital documents in lieu of paper statements.

Citibank required a number of credit card customers to give up paper statements if they wanted to keep their online accounts. 

According to The Daily Mail, Citibank’s new “beta program” ordered customers to opt for digital bank statements. The notice read, “We’re requiring you to authorize a switch to Paperless Statements and Legal Notices to maintain access to your account,” according to a screenshot shared by The Wall Street Journal.

While many might agree that going paperless on a mass scale could be helpful for the environment, the push for digital bank statements did not sit well with consumer advocates. And they want the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to do something about financial institutions requiring paperless correspondence, according to Daily Mail.

Around two-thirds of credit card customers are enrolled in paperless billing as of 2022. The news outlet noted that the current percentage of customers receiving paperless statements has gone up since 2015 by 36%. But the amount of customers who actually opened the statements that were sent as PDFs was only 10% last year, the CFPB reported, according to The Daily Mail.

The independent agency of the U.S. government that is responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector shared that customers are “opting out of reviewing their statements entirely” when they choose to go paperless.

The Ascent, a Motley Fool Service shared some benefits and drawbacks of opting for digital statements. The site pointed out that customers might feel at ease since non-paper billing documents reduce the risk of money and identity theft. Paper statements can be costly for some. Another upside is that it helps some people save money at companies that charge customers for paper statements.

On the downside, the site noted that paper documents might be more fitting for business owners or people in charge of someone else’s account – like an older family member. The Motley Fool tool noted that some companies don’t share statements that are from a year or more ago. Information from paper statements can be saved and referenced later in these instances.

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