This is the fourth part of “Keep the Receipt,” a five-part blog series about the various advantages paper receipts offer to businesses and consumers, and why you should elect to choose to offer – and accept – paper receipts.
The world has become digital – very quickly. In 1990, only 0.25% of the world population had a cell phone, and as of February 2019, it was estimated that more than 5 billion people have them. In today’s technologically advanced society, you might wonder if you still need a receipt. And guess what. You do!
In today’s blog post, we’re going to explore why you still need a receipt, whether it’s for a traditional reason like confirming a tip amount, or if it’s part of an omnichannel retail experience, like to be used with cashback apps. Without further ado, let’s explore why shoppers do indeed need a receipt.
7 Reasons Why You Need a Receipt
1. Immediate Itemized Information
Simply put, receipts are great at providing information. Many times, digital receipts provide basic transaction information, like a grand total, transaction date, and payment method. But with paper receipts, it’s a given that you’ll receive full itemized, line-by-line details – within seconds of payment.
Besides basic transparency into what you paid for, this line item information can be useful to confirm you received the correct discount/promotion, and can even come in handy if you accidentally set off the alarm at the store and need to quickly provide proof of purchase for a specific item (we’ve all been there).
2. Tip Amount Confirmation
It’s not unheard of to be charged the wrong amount for the tip you leave on the bill at a restaurant, bar, or other establishment. While most of the time the information was simply entered incorrectly by mistake and it is easy enough to correct the issue directly with the business, that’s a hassle that not many people have time for. By keeping your paper receipt and filling out the tip amount on your personal copy, it becomes easy to double-check the amount on your credit card statement and correct any issues that may arise.
3. Warranty/Return/Exchange Policies
When you want to check if your product is still under warranty or able to be returned/exchanged, you want that information to be easily (and quickly) accessible. A surefire way to promise that is by keeping a paper receipt for the purchase in question. While some systems allow for that information to be stored automatically, that process is tied to the credit card used for the original transaction. This can present problems if you no longer have the card, lost the card, or didn’t use a card for the original purchase. Keep reimbursement, return/exchange, and warranty issues simple by keeping the paper receipt for those important items!
4. Cashback Apps
Who doesn’t want a little extra cash? Luckily, there are a variety of easy-to-use cashback apps on the market today, like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, Shopkick, and more. How do these apps work? It’s easy: you simply make purchases normally, and then scan your receipt to receive rewards. It’s a pretty great reason to keep the receipt, if you ask us.
And speaking of savings, if a business prints on-receipt promotions, those can be a great way to save money on future purchases and can be easily kept in your wallet so you don’t forget them during your next shopping trip.
5. Instant Account Information
You might see a pattern emerging: paper receipts are simply the best at providing fully detailed transaction information – instantly. That pattern also applies to providing account information instantly.
Take, for example, a bank ATM. You need to take some cash out, and you want to check your account balance. An easy and private way to do that is to retrieve a receipt from the kiosk printer, which lists your current account information. When you do that, there’s no need to engage in a second step (like opening an app or logging on to a website) to get that account information, and it’s easy to quickly look back on that information at any time.
Paper receipts are simply the best for recordkeeping! First, and arguably most crucial, it’s important to keep proper records for tax purposes. According to Investopedia, it’s important to hold on to receipts, “so you have a record of even the smallest expenses you incur for business, charity and your health. As those expenses add up, they can start to lower your tax bill.” On a business owner-level, the IRS has further details regarding what kind of records you should keep.
Receipts come in handy for other kinds of recordkeeping, too, like expense tracking for business trips, and personal budgeting. It’s also important to get a paper copy of gift receipts to make returns and exchanges easier/possible for your friends and family.
7. Private and Personal
The information provided on a receipt is personal, and in an ideal world, it is private. However, in a world filled with cybersecurity concerns (there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds!), it comes as no surprise that some consumers may feel hesitant about that information being stored in their email inbox.
A paper receipt stays right where it should – in your wallet! With a hard copy receipt, there’s no need to worry about your sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.
So – what do you think? When do you need a receipt? What other ways can they be useful? Let us know in the comments!