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Paper Bank Statements become part of history

Paper Bank Statements become part of history for ASB Bank Internet customers

New Zealand banking has moved into a new era with ASB Bank developing the process and technology that allows online customers to stop their paper bank statements being mailed to them.

The impact on customer service and the environmental benefits are significant. Called ‘Statement Stopper’, the initiative goes live this week and has already caught the attention of the Minister of the Environment. By choosing to stop their paper statements, ASB Bank internet banking customers can make savings equivalent to nearly 40,000 kilograms1 of paper a year. “Paper statements have been an integral part of the banking infrastructure for more than 100 years, so we needed to ‘unbundle’ aspects of this infrastructure to meet the new direction our customer service now requires,” says Barbara Chapman, Head of Retail Banking and Marketing, ASB Bank. “The concept of stopping paper statements may be simple, but the practical demand of delivering this service is actually very complex.” Barbara Chapman says the need to develop Statement Stopper was driven by the huge volume of transactions ASB Bank’s growing internet banking base is conducting online.

“ASB Bank records around four million online transactions a month. It is these customers who are finding the need for paper bank statements surplus to requirements because they can check their balances and transactions online. “Paper bank statements will continue to be delivered to those customers who prefer them, but increasingly our online customers are telling us paper statements are a nuisance. They can now stop them with the click of a mouse whenever they wish. Saving statements online in an electronic file increases convenience, security and accessibility, whilst benefiting the environment.”

The paper saved from ASB Bank customers using Statement Stopper alone could be the equivalent of 16,000 reams of paper2. Environment Minister Marian Hobbs welcomed the ASB Bank initiative as it strongly supports government policy.

"Reducing paper consumption is in keeping with our strategies for energy efficiency, for conservation of resources and for reducing waste. For energy alone, a sheet of paper takes about 17 watt-hours to produce in overseas paper mills, much of it from fossil fuels. The five-year estimated savings from this initiative would power 180 households for a year. If all the banks took part, that savings would double.”

ASB Bank estimates if all 1.3 million internet banking customers in New Zealand stopped their statements, 234,000 kilograms3 of paper would be saved per annum, the equivalent of 650 trees over five years4.

“Banks are among the biggest users of paper with the statements they send to their customers, and yet they also have the highest number of customers who transact online. “Statement Stopper makes sense, and we’re challenging other banks to follow our lead in encouraging their online customers to stop paper statements. While Kiwibank offers a form of statement suppression, it still means you get all your paper statements, just twice a year rather than 12 times. It’s simply not the same.

Statement Stopper can be accessed by visiting http:// http://www.asbbank.co.nz and follow the instructions from the Fastnet Classic homepage.

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