While I’m ranting about business practices stuck in the 20th century, there is a simple reason I frequently decline online delivery of statements. What assurance do I have that after I terminate my account, I will still have access to my account records?
If you want me to sign up for e-delivery, give me some assurance that my records will remain online and accessible for a reasonable period of time. Regardless of the status of my account with you. In other words, match the functionality of paper statements.
If I cancel my account with you, my paper records don’t self-destruct. If you want me sign up for e-delivery, implement and publish your document retention policy that is client friendly and aligns with IRS guidelines. If I have an account with you and cancel it, my account history must remain accessible to me for at least 3 years.
Considering the cost of printing and mailing statements versus the incredibly cheap cost of storing electronic records, this seems like a no-brainer.
Here are a few more suggestions for a good implementation:
• Provide a simple method for downloading multiple statements. Quite often I don’t care at all about my statements until the end of the year when I want to download all of them. Selecting a period, clicking download, renaming the statement, and repeating a dozen times is tedious.
• Give the downloaded files a name useful to humans. Filenames like 82383423546602382_08-08.pdf are not human friendly.
• Prefix filenames with a date nomenclature like: YYYY_MM or YYYY_q1. That way, when I’m looking at a folder with several years worth of statements, they are sorted properly.
• If I cancelled my account with you N years ago and you’re about to expunge my records, make a good faith attempt to inform me prior to that event.