Citigroup Informs Customers to Go Digital, Else Lose Access to Online Account

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Some customers of Citigroup started receiving messages from the bank, like Go Paperless. In the breaking news headlines, the bank warned those reluctant that they would lose access to their online accounts.

Contributes to saving the environment

Credit card companies and banks have been telling their customers for several years to give up paper statements. They tried to convince the customers that by not printing bank accounts and credit card statements, they could save the environment. Switching to digital statements is also a cost-saving measure because of reduced labor costs.

As of 2022, around two-thirds of the customers of credit card companies have opted for paperless billing. It is an increase of 36% from 2015. Now customers can handle most of the tasks handled by the bank branches using their smartphones. So, according to the Director of financial Planning at Zenith Partners, Chelsea Ransom-Cooper, it is inevitable for customers to transition to paperless billing.

Citi still sends paper statements

In a communiqué from the representative of Citi, its policy is harsh for some of the customers. It is part of the beta program unveiled by the bank for some customers who access their accounts online. However, they are still receiving paper statements.

It is not known how many customers have received this message from Citi. According to Citi’s representative, the new policy mandates customers to enroll in digital statements to continue accessing their accounts online. However, they can switch back to paper statements at a later date and continue retaining access to the app and bank site.

To track the finances traditionally, Barry Schneider ignored the messages received from the banks to mandatorily switch to digital statements. He received an ultimatum last month from the bank when he logged into his account to pay his credit card bill. The bank notified him that he would need to send the check by mail to pay credit card dues to retain receiving paper statements. It could result in delayed payments and related penalties. So, the site sent a message: “We require you to opt for digital statements to maintain access to your online account”.

Click on the Citi website for authorization

Citibank, in its message, tells customers that paperless delivery is convenient and secure. The customers will also get access to their statements for the past 24 months. It also said the statements would not be stolen or lost in the mail. The customers need to authorize the bank on its website to send digital statements.

Citi tests the limits of federal laws

In the latest BNN News, consumer advocates and attorneys said Citi’s policy is testing the limits set by federal law. According to federal law, the banks are obligated to send paper statements to their customers by mail at least once a month. This is mandatory until a customer opts for a digital statement. However, federal law does not specify whether customers are allowed online access to their accounts.

An ED of the National Association (Consumer Advocates), Ira Rheingold, stated that the new policy of Citi does not seem to be legal. According to consumer advocates and attorneys, those regulations are under the ambit of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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