Congressional Corner: Protecting Seniors’ Access to Banking Services

Congressional Corner: Protecting Seniors’ Access to Banking Services

By Congressman Mike Turner

The way we communicate has rapidly changed over the past three decades. The internet allows us to be more connected with friends and family, find information almost instantly, and make some of our daily tasks far more convenient. While digital advancements are beneficial to many of us, Congress has a responsibility to protect the availability of monthly bank statements and in-person banking.

In recent years, banking institutions have started mandating their customers to go fully digital, effectively forcing customers to relinquish paper statements and requiring they access their banks exclusively through online accounts.

I introduced the Protecting Against Paperless and Electronic Requirements (PAPER) Act to ensure that everyone has the option to receive paper receipts and statements from banks and credit unions. U.S. financial institutions are putting profits over people and are denying customers the documentation they deserve and need to manage their hard-earned money.

Millions of Americans, especially our seniors, prefer not to use an app on their phone or a program on their computer to conduct business as personal as banking. Some Americans may simply not have reliable internet access to conduct such critical financial transactions. Regardless of age, income or location, customers deserve to have the option to continue banking with paper statements and receipts.

The PAPER Act requires financial institutions to give customers the option to continue to receive paper statements. It also prohibits banks from

withholding paper services from customers by conditioning a customer's use of the bank to digital services only. America’s seniors, those living in rural areas, or underserved communities across the United States cannot afford to lose access to physical bank records because they do not have advanced technology skills or internet access. Also, many customers have concerns about digital security when conducting personal financial activity.

The PAPER Act does not favor one type of financial statement over the other, but it requires that consumers have the option to choose which type of banking best suits them. Digital statements are fine for those who prefer them, but a financial institution should not be able to force a customer to give up paper statements. This piece of legislation ensures that all Americans continue to have access to their banking records.

I thank The Senior Citizens League for their endorsement of the PAPER Act and look forward to working with them to pass this bill and other policies that directly benefit our seniors.


Statements contained in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Senior Citizens League.