Banks play an important role in facilitating investment flows and financing economic activity. However, most banks do not think about the effect they have on the environment or society when making strategic decisions. Revenue is the main priority in the banking industry. However, many consumers are now asking for change. They want the banking industry to become more eco-friendly.
Banks who choose to favour more eco-friendly solutions can do their part in reducing the strain on the planet’s resources and better align with their customer’s expectations at the same time. One way banks in which can become more eco-friendly is by introducing more eco-friendly payment solutions. By introducing these solutions, banks will not only improve their bottom line, but they will also be embracing the environmental aspirations of their customers. Here are some of the ways that banks can make their payment solutions more eco-friendly:
1. Encourage Circular Thinking
For a long time now, businesses have followed the take, make, dispose-of paradigm, the ‘linear economy’, in which resources are seen as endless. In fact, evidence suggests that only 9% of 89 billion tons of materials are re-used or recycled.
Today, single-use plastic accounts for over 40% of the world’s plastic production. Thanks to this, plastic pollution is now one of the most serious environmental issues in the world. However, plastic still remains one of the main materials of the modern world and despite more and more people understanding the issues we face, plastic production is still on the increase.
With this in mind, we need to think of ways to overcome these issues, such as changing behaviours, business models and consumption models. Changes to plastic recycling and plastics will have a huge impact on taking care of the world around us by reducing oil consumption, saving landfill space, reducing emissions, and saving energy. Banks need to challenge the take, make, dispose linear model, and instead replace it with a reduce, reuse, recycle way of thinking.
2. Introduce Greener Payment Solutions
If banks want to continue to thrive in this eco-conscious world, they need to consider offering their customers more eco-friendly payment solutions. A recent survey suggested that nearly 90% of consumers expected their banks to offer more eco-friendly cards. In fact, many of these consumers also stated that they would change banks if their bank wasn’t eco-conscious.
3. Have an All-Inclusive Eco-Friendly Approach
Customers have begun to demand that banks offer eco-friendly solutions in the payment value chain. Evidence suggests that 65% of customers expect banks to offer digital statements as an alternative to paper documents, and over 70% of consumers believe that banks should offer a recycling service for old, unused cards.
As a result of this, banks should consider making their payment cards out of more eco-friendly materials. However, this is not the only thing they need to do. They should also consider reducing their carbon footprint, recycling expired cards, replacing paper statements with digital alternatives, and introducing more eco-friendly packaging.
Green banking is no longer something to simply consider; it is something that needs to be done now. Banks that move from a linear to a circular economy are not only aligning with their customers’ expectations who decide whether a brand flourishes or withers, but they are also taking responsibility from an ethical perspective.