No Online Pay? No Way

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Like most people, I have grown to rely increasingly on technology. All my bills, credit card payments, prescription refills and photo printing, and most of my shopping, dining and pizza-delivery requests — just about everything I do in life, I do online. In fact, I opened my current checking account two years ago, and this month, I wrote my rent check on check No. 143. Bear in mind that my checks started with 100. Essentially, this means that over the past two years, I’ve managed to write a whopping 43 checks. Every other transaction during that period was done with cash, plastic or online.

The daily reliance on technology is a realization most folks probably have accepted over the past few years, and it’s a realization that businesses, with any luck, are finally starting to embrace — the old, paper-based methods of business have gone the way of the dinosaur.

According to a new Robert Half Technology survey, most chief information officers said their companies’ technical support teams are, on average, 40 percent smaller than they optimally should be. Businesses understaffed technologywise probably notice diminishing returns to the bottom line — technology leads to convenience, and convenience almost always leads to higher sales.

For example, I hold a few department store credit cards. Until recently, all but one of those cards sent me paperless statements and let me pay my bills online. After a few late payments and frantic searches for stamps, I stopped using the card that I couldn’t pay online. A few months ago, the store finally set up online payments, and I quickly started spending again.

Now, I don’t want to suggest that my passive resistance directly led to this store enabling online bill pay (believe me, I don’t spend that much). Chances are this company finally realized just how behind the times it was. Overall, most businesses, even the smallest ones, are beginning to recognize they can’t compete locally or globally without a robust online component.

Have you noticed yourself avoiding technology-free situations? If so, I’d love to hear your stories. Send an e-mail to at sarah@certmag.com.

Sarah Stone Wunder
Managing Editor
sarah@certmag.com

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