The Effects of Online Banking Prologue There has been global awareness that our environment is endangered. All the spheres of human activity have started incorporating measures that would help reduce the pressure on our environment. The corporate world has also been bitten by the bug to preserve mother Earth. The concept of online banking is seen by many as a step towards providing a safer and greener earth to our progeny. The banking sector plays an essential role in any nations economy. Consequently if this sector adopts measures that reduce the negative impact on nature and help preserve environment then the other business are more likely to respond to the global concern regarding the issue of conservation of environment. The Wall Street Journal (May 15, 1998) reports that according to the editor of The On-line Banking Report, between 4.5 and 5 million customers used online banking in May 1998, as compared to 200,000 people who used it in 1995.
According to a survey conducted by “Pew Internet and American Life” in 2004, during past five years online-banking is the highest rising motion on the Internet in United State of America.
Among all users of the Internet around 44% are utilizing online banking some way or the other, that is, 53 million (McGann, p 9-13). As the number of people using online banking increases the level of pollution comes down. How is this possible? The ‘online banking effects’ section discusses this in detail. Banking industry through out the corporate world is leading the way for the environmentally conscious people. More and more banks throughout the world are wooing its client to are subscribe to online payments of utility bills. The banks are requesting its client to use online bank statement to keep tract of monetary transaction. Technology Impact on Environment There is a growing awareness that the technology should not negatively affect our environment.
The internet boom is contributing very positively to making our planet greener. There is less use of paper and it is also reducing the use of fuel as the people now don’t need to go to banks as often as they needed to do so in the past.
Many banks like the Citizen’s Bank of Canada are realizing they were contributing to greenhouse gas emission. It has offered its customers an option of online banking and it reports that its there has been able to cut down its use of paper by 30%. Bank of America also followed the same trajectory and says that there has been a 32% reduction in its paper use (The paper planet, n.p). Apart from the environmental effects, online banking also has a positive impact on the business itself. Among all other latest advancements in technology internet occupies a prominent position and thus has its impact on business also.
It is quite predictable that it is going to serve as a main dynamic forcing transformation in the near future (Jayewardene and Foley, p 12-20). Online Banking versus Retail Branch Banking A traditional retail bank provides its services through a vast banking structure in different areas of a country both rural and urban. Such banks are usually large customer based and enjoy presence of high street there is a feeling of safety and brand acceptance among the customers.
Though there is a constant interaction with the bank staff, but the general 8 hour operating timings may not suit all. There is a traditional “sales-oriented” pursued in this system. Whereas, the geographical borders are eliminated by online banking and people can perform their required transactions from anywhere and whenever they want. It has shifted the culture of business to be “customer-oriented” (The U. S. Online Retail Banking Market, p1). This has led to immediate access to account of the customer and has made it more environment friendly. It is one of the few technological advancement which is cost effective as well as conserves environment. Effects of Online Banking Online banking can effect our environment positively.
Below are some of the effects of online banking. i. Online banking can help reduce the paper cost. It has been calculated that almost 53% of American citizens use online banking systems. This means that the country saves up to 2.3 million tons of wood, which was not cut down from the forests in order to make paper. It is a known fact that trees help in the reduction of carbon dioxide from the environment.
If every citizen starts using online banking system, then the paper usage will get limited to only schools and some corporations. This will save millions of tress and hundreds of forests from destruction (Environmental leader, n.p) ii. Fuel consumption can be reduced by almost 26 million BTUs. According to Environmental Leader report, this is enough electricity to for the entire city of San Francisco for almost one year. As fuel in a natural resource hence not consuming it wisely will result in fuel crisis in the future.
However most importantly, every gallon of fuel burned adds extra pollution in the atmosphere. Therefore adapting online banking will reduce the consumption of fuel and hence reduce toxic air pollution (Environmental leader, n.p) iii. Online banking also reduces toxic wastewater. This waste water can fill up almost 20,000 swimming pools. As the solid waste generation (be it in form of papers etc) is reduced this will result lesser garbage and lesser the garbage trucks have to load. The lesser trucks required and hence again lesser fuel consumed.
Moreover, solid waste also adds pollution to the environment. Hence adapting online banking will result in lesser solid waste generation (Environmental leader, n.p) iv. Almost 8.5 million particulates (which act as pollution) will be removed form air. v. Keeping in view the time consumed in traditional banking, the online banking seems to be quite speedy as transactions are usually very quickly approved and completed through it. A number of sophisticated tools are now provided by various sites, comprising portfolio managing programs, account aggregation, rate alerts, and stock quotes to assist the customers in managing their assets more successfully.
vi. Further, the customer can use the online banking facility to make electronic payments of bills, make electronic check payments, or transfer money to accounts in other banks. Thus, they are in a position to save some vital resources as under. At present it is a common practice that both spouses work to make both ends meet and thus, are always short of time not only for each other but fir their kids also which may lead to anxiety and stress. By saving traditional banking hours they can spare these for the family vii.
Ink usage and other things such as rubber stamps, envelops, ATM cards etc will be reduced. All of these add up in the environmental pollution. Most of these inks contain lead and hence combined all the banks generate a lot of solid toxic lead waste. viii. Apart from all the above effects, online banking will help save a lot of land space which is currently being used by corporate banks. The government can plant trees and make parks in these areas and hence contributing positively to the environment.
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