Going green: How technology affords banks an eco-friendly approach
Banks have always been green, but the "green" in question was cash. Now, banks are looking into a different kind of green - eco-friendly and energy efficient options.
Over the past few years, the green movement has swept across the country. A number of businesses have taken up the charge, finding new and creative ways to reduce their impact on the environment and save money at the same time.
"Going green" can be simple and straightforward. For example, many businesses have:
- Replaced light bulbs with eco-friendly variants
- Recycled paper products
- Car pooled
- Upgraded windows and doors
While these are effective options, they are on the basic side. Today, financial institutions have more in-depth and effective options to go green, all thanks to technology.
"Technology can help your bank go green."
The elements of a green bank
And how has technology come to the rescue? Primarily by removing the old, antiquated way of running a bank and providing a greener, more affordable alternative.
Traditionally, banks have relied on paper documents. Technology has replaced paper with digital, thanks to online banking, paperless statements and similar transactions. Banks are also big users of energy, from lights to ATMs and computers. Green banks are jumping aboard the alternative energy bandwagon, installing solar panels or buying wind power to run their businesses.
Any tech tool that can remove the need for paper products, speed up the transaction process and reduce energy use is a major plus for a green bank. A green bank can also be one that supports environmentally friendly causes, like The Nature Conservancy or other scientific organizations. Banks can donate to these groups on a regular basis.
Furthermore, a green bank can create products tailored around an eco-friendly cause. A credit card, for example, could have a "green theme." Customers could get perks if they enroll in paperless billing. A bank can also offer a favorable vehicle loan for hybrid or electric vehicles or home loans for houses with eco-friendly features, like solar panels.
All in all, the key elements of a green bank are:
- Lower energy use
- Online and digital services
- Green-centric products
Green benefits banks and customers
First and foremost, an eco-friendly approach will help your bank save money. You will have lower utility bills and fewer costs, since green banking means fewer paper bills, statements and other documents.
However, a green bank is beneficial for another reason as well - the customers. Offering online banking, paperless billing and green products is great public relations. On top of that, it is a smart way to market your bank to more people. Environmentally conscious businesses are extremely popular, and your bank can attract more customers by embracing this attitude.
Green banking can lead to cost savings for you, but it will definitely mean more convenience for your customers - a win for both sides.
Keep security in mind
Of course, a bank with a wide range of digital services has its downsides. The main one is security. More electronic services increase the risk of data breaches and hacking.
With that in mind, make sure your bank is protected in today's digital age. Have the right firewalls and virus protections installed, and perform adequate due diligence on a regular basis. Also maintain multi-faceted authentication, so customers have to provide their passwords, their usernames and even answer a question to access their accounts.
At the end of the day, a greener bank is a smarter bank. Your business can save money, help out the environment and attract more customers. Best of all, the right tools are already out there at your disposal.