Amazon's book billionaire Bezos bets big on paperless transactions

Amazon's book billionaire Bezos bets big on paperless transactions

Summary: Doxo wants to make all those bills and statements you receive in the U.S. mail go the way of the dodo.

TOPICS: Amazon

My biggest challenge with receiving bills electronically is my fear that the alerts about same will get buried in my e-mail, and I'll forget to pay them. I know I'm not alone, but that hasn't stopped Bezos Expeditions and venture capitalist Mohr Davidow Ventures from backing a new paperless transactions player, doxo, with $5.25 million in funding.

The startup, which aims to "revolutionize paperless transactional mail adoption," is hoping to help all those companies that send you bills and account statements on a regular basis -- utility companies, insurance and banking firms, and various telecommunications service providers -- cut out the paper. These and other companies deliver an estimated 55 billion documents every year in the United States alone. Not only does this cost a ridiculous amount of money in printing and postage -- upwards of $35 billion annually -- but it is enormously wasteful. Doxo figures that even cutting 30 percent of that volume would save 3 million trees, more than 150 million gallons of gas, and 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Those are some pretty big numbers.

In theory, it's a great idea to go paperless, but there are some pretty serious barriers to adoption. For one thing, if you go paperless with everyone, you have to log into a gazillion different web sites to make the payments. Things need to be simpler, which is something that Doxo is hoping to fix.

I also think electronic bills or paperless transactions if you want to use that term instead, are a very generational concept. There is nothing that you can say to me that will convince me that my in-laws, or my husband for that matter, will EVER move to paperless transactions. None of them use a computer, nor do any of them plan to do so. Personally speaking, I'm eager to go paperless, but haven't seen an option yet that makes it easy for me. So, I'll be watching doxo carefully.

Topic: Amazon

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  • My non-paperless credit card bill alerted me

    that I was overcharged by 105 pounds on my paperless telephone bill.

    Online bills are more like an archive.

  • RE: Amazon's book billionaire Bezos bets big on paperless transactions

    My guess is that doxo is missed the boat. Aside from being way late too the party (most of my bills are already paperless and my payments certianly are), they will probably be like the electronic bill pay services of the '80s that tried to push saving a couple of bucks on stamps by paying $10.95 a month for the service.
  • RE: Amazon's book billionaire Bezos bets big on paperless transactions

    Eliminating mail does not save that much gas. The mailman still has to drive the route.

    Bills don't get lost in e-mail if you set up some rules and move the mails to a Bills folder.
  • RE: Amazon's book billionaire Bezos bets big on paperless transactions

    I've been on a total paperless invoice and payment system for years. Since most banks support auto payment and monthly payment options to absolutely anyone, I've only have to go to one websitee and generally only once or twice a month to cover dozens of payments for things linke utilities, CC's, local vendors and even one-off payments. It's so easy and painless that it baffles me why it's not a more universal habit. No more useless paper bills with WAY too much paper in the envelopes that only get thrown throw away. That alone is an incredible waste of resources and should be a primary reason to require most monthly billings to be paperless.
  • Indeed, the wave of the future

    I pay as many bills as possible electronically, but I too worry about losing electronic invoices in the e-mail shuffle. The way it stands, I leave the few electronic invoices that I receive in my inbox so that they haunt me daily.

    Hey, TrueDinosaur, the "Bills" folder is a great idea! Maybe doxo can figure out a way to help users create a Bills folder and create the rules to automatically route invoice-mails there. Better yet, rules to automatically move them to a "Paid" folder once the transaction has completed.

    Easier said than done I suppose...
  • Generational? Lots of Old Folks Use Paperless

    I disagree about the generational difference. Lots of older folks use paperless, or at least pay electronically.

    My folks and all their friends do because they travel often. Not high dollar, just out and about. They don't have to worry about being late on anything because everything is paid automatically.

    Maybe they wouldn't use doxo, but if the UI was easy, they might.
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  • RE: Amazon's book billionaire Bezos bets big on paperless transactions

    I would guess that even your husband and your in-laws would likely shift to paperless once companies start charging for the "luxury" of receiving a paper bill.
  • Paper bills for me all the time, everytime.

    The on line world leaks credit card numbers like a sieve!

    The credit cards I use on-line have had an average lifetime of maybe 6-8 months before they get canceled and replaced because of fraudulent charges. No way do I have time to hassle with critical bills and this mess.
  • Paper is forever

    Paper is much more permanent than electronic records. I have a paper record of all my stock transactions since 1967 though I've created an electronic summary. If I'm going to have to print out my records eventually, I'd prefer getting originals that will look much more authentic in case of any dispute. Fixing mistakes with paper proof is already difficult enough. Won't relying upon electronic records make it even more difficult?

    In fact, I've wondered whether companies have a secondary objective in encouraging electronic records of making it more difficult for customers to change vendors.