September 2016 – Online Document Centers

As banking customers continually expand their use of online account management, it is critical for firms to offer lengthy archives of readily accessible statements, tax forms and other account documents. This report evaluates the private site and mobile app document centers of each Bank Monitor firm, with an emphasis on statements, tax documents and the ability to manage settings, access help and make use of other tools. The push to paperless has been a sustained effort over the last decade, yet many document centers assessed in this report leave much to be desired. And although firms should provide statements in their mobile apps as well as via the desktop site, just over half do so, with many missing the opportunity to provide the seamless customer experience necessary for customers to manage all of their account information and activity strictly online.

With a single exception, firms allow customers to activate and turn off paperless statements easily online. For some customers, this choice carries an associated cost, with five firms charging a fee to receive paper statements, and three banks requiring customers to enroll in paperless delivery before they can view a single statement online. A handful of firms provide sections of downloadable PDFs and upload features that allow customers to submit account documents to the firm directly on the private site. This rare but very useful service allows customers to request changes quickly and keep accurate records online of communications related to their accounts.