We do a lot of things electronically today, let it be shopping or booking a room in a hotel. Banking is no different. Online banking is trending, and banks too are encouraging the same. If you are a credit card user then it is likely that your bank has pushed you to switch to electronic statements (or e-statements) rather than paper versions at one point or the other. However, should you go for it? Keep reading to find out.
Importance of Statements
Bank statements hold a lot of importance- they serve as a record of payments, charges and fees, and even errors, if they have occurred so. They are also almost essential when it comes to making tax returns, applying for mortgage, etc.
E-Statements Vs Paper Statements
There is a reason why banks tend to promote e-statements- they are convenient, and make less clutter. Also, as digitization is on the rise, more people are willing to opt for e-statements rather than paper statements. Some banks also charge a small fee for paper payments, which is another reason why people like to get e-payments instead.
Although e-statements are easier to manage and organize, paper statements have their advantages. They are permanent, and can be accesses and used easily. Many people don’t give e-statements due importance, and often ignore them, which is another reason why paper statements can be useful.
Managing Credit Card E-Statements
If you are sticking with paper statements then it is a different story, but if you have decided to go for e-statements, then you can use the following tips to manage them better:
- Opening and Saving Your Statement Every Month- Whenever you get the notification for your monthly e-statement through your e-mail or sms, make it a point to log in your account and download in ASAP. Don’t just take a look at it and forget about it, but keep it in a separate folder along with other e-statements. This way whenever you need to check the records you know where to go.
- Keeping Contact Information up to Date- If you decide to change your primary email address or phone number, make sure you inform you bank about it. This way they can deliver messages about your e-statements on your new phone number or email address. It is also important that you check your credit report e-statement frequently, so that if there is any discrepancy you can get it corrected by contacting your bank.
- Computer Security- Just like security is important with paper statements, it is important for e-statements too. Thus, make sure your computer is secure and protected for malware and other forms of cyber attacks. Install a good anti-virus program and keep it updated. Also, never share your e-statements online through email or any other medium.
- Keeping a Record- While collecting and storing your e-statements can be handy, it is important that you keep a separate record too. Make a spreadsheet with all your accounts in one column, and the months on the top. Enter the amount you pay each month in the columns under the months. This spreadsheet can be really useful when you want to track your payments.
- Don’t Just Rely on E-Statements- Monitoring your credit card account can prevent potential theft or other kind of frauds. Thus, you must never just rely on your e-statements for keeping an eye on your account. Instead, log in your account on a regular basis, and do a brief check. Also check your credit score from time to time, to ensure that you are not losing points. For this you should be obtaining your CIBIL report at a regular interval. Poor CIBIL score can make obtaining a loan a nightmare.
Unless you have some concrete reason to opt for paper statements, there is no harm in choosing e-statements. In a world that is increasingly becoming paperless, e-statements will soon become a norm, and it is a possibility that paper will be out of the picture altogether. Thus, the sooner you make the switch, the better. Make sure you follow the tips given above on managing e-statements, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.