Canadians pay over USD 500 mln a year for paper bills - report

Friday 29 August 2014 00:08 CET | News

Canadians are probably paying more than half a billion dollars a year to receive printed bills and bank statements by mail, a recent report reveals.

According to a recent study entitled “How to Pay the Piper: A Primer on Additional Charges to Consumers in Canada for Paper Billing”, released by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), three quarters of the respondents objected to being charged fees for paper copies of their bills and balances.

The report also points out that 1 in 3 of respondents said they were uncomfortable with making the switch to e-billing or online banking.

Furthermore, about 43% said they could recall being notified by at least one company that they would have to pay to continue receiving bills or bank balances by mail, and just over half of those survey respondents said they accepted the charge.

The report also adds that 71% of respondents approved of offering consumers a discount to those who opt for electronic billing, and 83% of those surveyed believe receiving a paper bill in the mail without having to pay an extra fee is part of the company’s cost of doing business.

While there are no official numbers disclosed by the banking and telecommunications industries stating how much money is being paid annually for paper bills and balances, PIAC estimates the total is ‘conservatively’ between USD 495 million and USD 734 million, plus taxes.

As much as USD 102 million in fees are being paid by low-income Canadians and seniors who don’t have Internet access at home or don’t use computers, suggests the report, which was funded in part by Industry Canada.

The telephone survey of 2,005 Canadians organized for the report was conducted in August and September 2013 and is considered accurate within 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: paper, bills, Canada, Canadians, e-billing, electronic billing, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, PIAC
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech