Go Green! – Save the Planet or Cost Cutting 1

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What is the real reason behind the active “Go Green” Campaign by many Companies (esp. in the Financial Sector in India)? Do they really want to help Save the Planet?

Most “Go Green” Campaigns by the Financial Sector Companies start with sending Email statements to their customers – be it banks, Mutual Funds or Credit Card Companies. The idea behind this campaign is not “Go Green” it is Cost Cutting. Sending Periodic Statements by Email saves lots of money for the Company esp. for Credit Card Companies and Banks since they periodically send statements on a monthly basis and those with large customer base incur a huge expense on printing & courier/post.

I like to see what other “Go Green” activities these companies have implemented –

Have they reduced print outs in their companies?
Have they reduced their Energy Consumptions? Are they using energy efficient devices in Office?
Have they set-up alternate (read renewable) sources of energy to power up their Offices?

The answer to most will be NO.

In India where the Legal System is slow and inefficient even with the setting up of Banking Ombudsman, the move by Financial Companies to use Email as the only delivery will lead to further disputes between them and their Customers.

Even with the present physical Statement Delivery System – Statement delivery is erratic and inconsistent. Customers have to put up with inefficiencies at the Companies end and if they miss a payment deadline because they have not received the Statement, it is still their fault. (I personally found AMEX to be an exception – statements are always delivered at home 4-5Days from the Statement Date. SBI Cards is the worst)

At least with a physical delivery option, customers can ask for proof of delivery, with Email even this cannot be authenticated. Any glince in the Email System at the Company’s end – Customers will be let in Soup for no fault of theirs.

Further, none of the cost saving is passed on to the Customers. In which case, I as a customer rather prefer to receive Physical Statements.

Few Companies (like SBI Cards) are providing one time incentive in the form of reward points – but is that enough?

To add to this, Customers incur expenses to read the statement (I will say the Companies are just pushing the cost to the Customers and not compensating for that).

I am in for Greener Business. But Companies must not take advantage of that and mislead/fool Customers.

NOTE: AMEX in India has made Card Statement Delivery by Email mandatory from Jan2009.

One comment on “Go Green! – Save the Planet or Cost Cutting

  1. Anand Jan 7,2009 14:46

    Nice post. Really a good thought process from you.

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