US payments industry launches campaign to save the
Global climate change has been seized as an opportunity by US
financial services companies to promote electronic payments.
Spearheading the initiative is a coalition formed under the
auspices of payments industry body the National Automated Clearing
House Association to educate consumers about the positive
environmental impacts of choosing electronic bills, statements and
payments over paper.
Leadership partners of the coalition include Bank of America,
CheckFree, Citi, Citizens Bank, the Federal Reserve Banks, Fiserv,
JPMorgan Chase, Wachovia, Wells Fargo and US Bank.
“This strategic industry initiative will educate consumers about
the real positives for their households and for the environment
that choosing electronic solutions over paper will have,” said
Stuart Williams, bill-pay service provider CheckFree’s manager of
payment services and co-chairman of the coalition.
“Although consumer use of electronic bills, statements and payments
is growing, many consumers do not realise the full impact their
household could make by simply asking to turn off paper bills and
statements once they have adopted online banking.”
Craig Vaream, a vice-president of investment bank JPMorgan Chase
and co-chair of the coalition, said: “Recent studies find that the
consumer use of the online channel for banking and bill payment,
along with electronic invoicing, can have a positive impact on the
Indicative of the huge environmental benefits that would result
from all US households receiving and paying their bills
electronically, he cited a study undertaken earlier this year by
consultancy Javelin Strategy and Research. Among the benefits
• save 16.5 million trees each year;
• reduce toxic air pollutants by 3.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide
• reduce by 726,000 tons the solid waste generated in a year.
The coalition will educate and inform consumers about the
environmental benefits of choosing electronic options over paper
when managing household finances. “We expect the campaign will
result in higher consumer acceptance of electronic banking and bill
payments,” predicted Williams.