As the banking industry continues to encourage account holders to move toward paperless statements, Wells Fargo is taking another eco-friendly step forward at its ATMs with cellphone text receipts.
The California-based bank was the first financial institution to offer electronic receipts for ATM users in 2007, and six years later, Wells Fargo is the first to offer receipts via text messaging, too. Alicia Moore, head of Wells Fargo ATM banking, says many of the bank's customers already are taking advantage of the ability to walk away from ATMs without a receipt in hand.
"Today, almost half of all eligible transactions at the ATM result in customers selecting an e-receipt or not printing a receipt," Moore says. "Our customers tell us they appreciate the ability to reduce paper waste. Text receipts just give them one more option."
The text receipts are delivered to the account holder's phone within minutes, and they include all the usual information account holders expect, including a description of the transaction, the account, available balance, time and date, and the location of the ATM.
Reducing all those receipts does more than provide a convenience for customers. The new feature reduces printing costs for the bank, too. With more than 12,000 ATMs across the country, it's safe to say that text receipts can put a dent in the number of paper rolls loaded into those machines.
As more banks offer electronic options for consumers, I'll be curious to see if any institutions experiment with charging a nominal fee for printing receipts. While an ATM receipt certainly doesn't come with the costs of a mailed, multipage monthly statement, each piece of paper does represent an expense for banks.
What do you think of the new feature? Would you prefer to receive records of your ATM transactions via text messages?