Digital ATM Receipts Make Sense and Save Cents

receipts atmDo you print your ATM receipt when you get cash or make a deposit or transfer at the ATM machine? Yes? Would it make a difference if you could have your receipt emailed to you?

Customers generally hold onto receipts for record-keeping purposes, and with more and more household budgeting and tax preparation taking place online, email receipts make good sense. The information in the emails can easily be transferred where it needs to go, and there’s no worry about losing that scrap of paper in your pocket. (Many people use their email inboxes as de facto file cabinets for every important document, which may not make quite as much sense.)

Bank Innovation recently spoke to Alicia Moore, head of ATM Banking at Wells Fargo, about innovation at the ATM machine. She shared that Wells Fargo began giving its customers this option about two years ago in response to customer requests.

The email option was implemented to fulfill a customer request, but it also helped Wells Fargo with the longstanding puzzle of how to convince customers to skip printing their receipts. The email option dropped the number of people printing receipts from 86% down to 60%. Mary Wenzel of Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs department estimates that the email option has spared 20,000 rolls of receipt paper, which unrolled would reach 8,000 miles.

Another benefit for customers: The paper and ink in receipts may not be good for your health.

A Bank Innovation staffer reports that Citibank also began offering this option at its ATM machines recently as well. It won’t be long before this sensible option is the rule at ATM machines everywhere – as long as you’re at your own bank’s machines, that is. If you’re a Wells Fargo customer, a Citibank ATM won’t know your email address. But if other account information can be shared across systems, why not your email address, too?

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at

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