life, psychology

Do you still take print receipts of your ATM transactions?

If your answered no –  Cheers!!

The rationale behind taking a printout of the ATM transaction still eludes me. Especially when all you were going to do is throw it in the bin. That makes zero sense. Like, zero. Really.

This is a curious little habit, once again, that exists for no particular reason whatsoever. It’s again your brain making you do things just because you are used to doing them. Just one of those things you do without contemplating. Basically, one of those moments where you fail the universe.

I apologize for the condescending tone, but every time I see a person print a receipt, give it a quick glance and then nimbly crumple and throw it in the bin – my mind just goes – Why?

So let’s break this one down –

1) You print because you want to save all of your transaction receipts. I know people who do this are extremely rare. And this might not really be needed these days. The chances of an ATM transaction failing aside, the banking systems today are robust enough to detect any mishap and auto-correct an incomplete transaction. You would never have need to produce the receipt in your life. Still, you can be forgiven if you are doing this because you at least are doing something with it. Unlike…

2) You print because you want to check your account balance. If you are grinning and thinking that this is valid reason, think again! Do you really have to print to find that out? Every ATM machine now has an option to check your balance on-screen. How much productivity are you going to achieve in that one minute it takes to make that one more transaction?

And anyway, are you really so out of track that you would not know how much your balance would be.

Is it really that gratifying to see the amount on paper?

And of course, why can’t you just wait and check it on your Netbanking portal?

You cannot win this.

3) You print because…you don’t know why. Hmmm.

Why am I making such a fuss out of this? I wonder if people who do this ever stop and think of all the paper that’s going in the trash. The ATM does warn you to print the receipt only if you absolutely need it and also displays that ‘GO GREEN’ icon. (Well mine does, anyway. Too bad if your bank doesn’t.)

What fueled this article today is my visit to the ATM that had a bin full of crumpled receipts. If your mind is going – hey wait a minute, won’t they be recycled? – well I surely hope so. But if you think that gives you license to waste paper as much as you want, please think again. Why should we even spend resources on recycling a lot of paper. Why can’t we just reduce the usage of paper in the first place?

Here’s a funny story. I once went to an ATM that did not have a trash can. You know what I found there? I found the floor strewn with crumpled receipts. Like there was no place you can step on without stamping on a piece of paper.

Yes, we humans are perfectly capable of being so enormously thoughtless sometimes.

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