Save Your Sanity and Energy With Paperless Bill Payments
So much has changed since the internet was introduced to the general public in the mid-1990s. Some of the most dramatic shifts have happened in the banking sector. We went from credit cards and then debit cards being the most efficient form of payment to the online payment platforms of today. You can now make a payment from anywhere at any time and see your latest statement with a few clicks.
In other words, paper bills have become almost the equivalent of junk mail. But as you’ll find out in this blog post, having paper bills mailed to your home can actually be worse than junk mail cluttering up your mailbox.
Paperless Online Billing is Easier and More Convenient
Nothing is more efficient and easy than one-and-done. Paperless billing paired with autopay means that all you have to do is select the settings and the bill will get paid month after month. You don’t have to take any additional steps or even think about it. However, it is a good idea to set up email alerts that will tell you when a new bill is due and send a confirmation when it’s paid.
Even without the auto-pay feature turned on paperless online billing is simply more convenient. You don’t have to wait for the bill to come in the mail, fill out a check, put it in the mail, and then follow up to make sure the payment was received. Online everything is accessible at any time and you’ll get instant verification that the payment was received.
Paperless Online Billing is Cheaper
What happens if you accidentally miss a payment? The first time the creditor may give you a pass. But if it happens again they probably won’t be so understanding. And some creditors increase the late fee if it happens repeatedly.
Paperless bill payments reduce the chance that you’ll make a payment late or miss it altogether. Even if you don’t opt for autopay, online payments are credited to your account instantly. It can mean the difference between paying on time or being late and getting hit with an additional fee on top of the normal payment.
Paperless Online Billing is Better for Your Credit
If you miss a payment you may be hit with more than a late fee. Creditors will report the late payment to the credit bureaus, which has a negative impact on your credit score. Timely bill payments are so important payment history makes up the largest portion of your credit score. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score.
Paperless Online Billing is More Secure
Earlier in the post, paper bills were likened to junk mail. But there’s one advantage junk mail has over a paper bill. Junk mail doesn’t contain sensitive information that can be stolen. If someone steals your junk mail the worst thing that can happen is you’ll lose a 20% off coupon to Bed Bath & Beyond. If someone steals a bill they could get a hold of information that costs you thousands.
Identity theft is a serious threat today. Even if the bill doesn’t seem like something an identity thief would target that might not be the case. They could be trying to gain information that can be used to access other accounts or open accounts like a new credit card. The Federal Trade Commission reports that over 167,000 people had fraudulent credit card accounts opened in their name in 2020.
Play it safe and go paperless.
Paperless Online Billing is Greener for the Environment
Last but not least is the environmental factor of forgoing paper bills. Going paperless is greener for three key reasons:
Trees Aren’t Cut Down – No paper means that no trees are sacrificed to pay the bill. Experts believe deforestation is shrinking worldwide forest acreage by 0.2% a year, and only 7% of forests are considered sustainable.
Less Energy is Used – Online billing platforms aren’t 100% energy-free since resources are needed to power the online services. However, the energy required to source trees, create paper, and package them is higher.
No Carbon Footprint – The biggest environmental difference between paper and online billing is the carbon footprint. Going paperless means bills aren’t being mailed to your door. They are sent to your inbox instead, which doesn’t require a gas-guzzling mail truck.
GreenBiz estimated that the average family can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 171 pounds a year by going paperless. All it takes is a couple of clicks to significantly reduce the impact your bills have on the environment.
Spark Energy gives you the ability to manage your account and pay bills online from anywhere at any time*. Our online services provide more convenience while reducing the energy needed to provide electric and gas services. Experience the Spark Energy difference!
* Only applies to certain markets