Electronic Statements

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Dear Company X,

You want me to get my statements electronically. This is quite understandable; it'll cost you a significant amount of money to print and post statements which must be a bit irritating when you're already running a website for me to access my account. And moving bits of paper around has some ecological impact which would be worth avoiding.

But, sorry no, I always resist if I possibly can.

Basically, it's a bit of a hassle to log on to your site once a month and download the statements and make sure they get kept somewhere which'll be properly secured and backed up, etc.

I'd much rather you just e-mailed the statements. I already have a system in place to automatically file e-mails (using some 150 Thunderbird filters) and backup the whole lot (fairly) regularly to different locations.

Of course, e-mail's not considered secure enough.

So just encrypt the statements. Here's my key and here's a bit more discussion about it. I'll happily upload it to your site just once and update it when I produce a new key. Just don't make me faff around downloading a statement every month once for each company I do business with.

I would caution, though, that it's not actually possible to encrypt e-mails, just e-mail bodies. Therefore, don't let any sensitive information leak into the message headers. For example, don't put account numbers in the subject if they're considered sensitive as they would be for, say, credit cards.

Thank you.