Consumers Prefer Paper Bills over E-Statements

Consumers Prefer Paper Bills over E-Statements

January 16, 2019         Written By John H. Oldshue

We live in a digital world, but many consumers are sticking to tried and true financial practices. According to a new survey from Consumer Action, Americans prefer to receive bills and invoices by mail, rather than electronically.

When asked how they would like to receive important communications from their service providers, 38% of consumers said by mail. Just 26% preferred digital communication (mostly email), while 36% said it would depend on the situation.

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The survey went on to address specific types of bills consumers might receive, and mailed communication won for every category. For example, 61% of consumers preferred credit card bills by mail versus 34% who preferred electronic bills.

Consumers showed a particularly strong preference for paper billing with non-monthly charges, such as medical bills (74%), property taxes (71%) and motor vehicle renewals (69%). Monthly household bills had a lower rate of preference, including phone bills (56%), internet service (51%) and utilities (63%).

The category where consumers were least likely to request mailed bills was for mortgage loans. Only 45% of consumers chose to receive those bills by mail. However, 34% of respondents did not have a mortgage at all. Of the respondents who did have a mortgage, nearly 52% preferred bills through the mail.

Despite receiving bills by mail, most consumers chose to pay online. Survey participants were asked, “If you receive a bill in the mail, do you prefer to pay it online or by postal mail?” A majority of respondents (56%) said they paid online, compared to 34% who paid by mail. An additional 7% said they were enrolled in automatic billing.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 16, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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