Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Tips on Making the Switch from Paper to Online Banking

Receive Bank E-statements

Bank statements often run several pages to dozens of pages for more complex accounts, and often, even those who switch to online banking keep the paper statements coming. One study showed that even among those who do pay bills or bank online, only about 15 to 40 percent opt out of receiving a paper bank statement, preferring to have it mailed snail mail [source: Laise; Pulliam Weston].

Switching to online banking saves time and eliminates paperwork build-up, but it also can help by doing exactly what a paper bank statement does, but without the paper. Bank statements are available online in their entirety and exactly as they would be printed on paper. These statements can be viewed from within your account, printed as needed and saved as different file formats if you want to download a copy to put on a hard drive or portable storage device.

You can still review your accounts and balance your checkbooks, debit and credit accounts as usual, just without the stacks of paper. Any issues or discrepancies between your accounting and the bank's records can be reconciled in the same way they would be if you had a piece of paper in front of you -- and you will still have a copy of the paper available to access any time, from anywhere you can log in to your account. Some banks even offer waived fees or incentives for switching to online only.

Getting rid of the paper also lowers the risk of having someone get a hold of your account information either through regular mail or through the trash. But there are some safeguards to consider, next.