The paperless society hasn't arrived yet.
According to a new survey conducted by SIFO for the Swedish Postal Service (Posten), nine out of ten Swedes feel it's important to get their bills and tax returns mailed home. Less than four out of ten feel it's important to receive the same information electronically.
The results of the survey are unambiguous. The paperless society will have to wait; the Swedish population still wants to be able to receive bills, tax returns, insurance information and medical documents by mail.
Electronic information is a large part of the everyday world of the modern Swede. We send e-mail, read newspapers, order goods and seek information on the Internet. In Sweden, 77 percent of the population has access to a computer at home (1). Nevertheless, nine out of ten Swedes receive bills and tax returns on paper.
"After a decade of electronic communication, we are now seeing distinct patterns. Despite computer-literacy, most people want bills, tax returns and other important information on paper. Paper remains an important information bearer and door-opener," says Anders Åsberg, the head of Posten's administrative line.
Bills should be sent home free of charge
Almost two out of three persons asked, also mention that bills should be sent home free of charge. Among those willing to pay, 15 to 29 year olds are somewhat over-represented.
Additional results of the survey:
- Bills in paper form are important to all age groups. Both young people and senior citizens feel it's important to be able to receive bills by mail. In the oldest group (age 65+), 94 percent agree, while among the youngest group (15 to 29 year olds), the corresponding figure is 91 percent.
- Electronic payment, but with paper documentation. Just under three quarters of those who have access to the Internet pay their bills electronically. At the same time, the results of the survey show that Swedes want paper documentation.
- Most people read the inserts. A whopping 83 percent of those surveyed read or skim the inserts (i.e. information and offers sent out together with the bills).
- Inserts, the customer's choice. Almost six of ten, or 59 percent, prefer inserts if they are allowed to choose the way their bank or insurance company sends them the information and offers.
For additional information, please contact:
Posten Press Service, Phone: +46 (0) 8-23 10 10, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the survey:
This survey is based on telephone interviews with 1,100 respondents from a representative national sample. The interviews were conducted by SIFO Research International.
(1) Statistics Sweden, table MT 9, Access to computers in the home, according to age, type of household, foreign background, socioeconomic group and H-region. Men, women and both genders, 16-84 years, 1994-2004.
Posten connects people and organizations around the world by delivering mail promptly, reliably and cost-effectively. We drive value creation by combining conventional postal services and convenient electronic solutions, and integrating these services into customer businesses. With approximately 4,000 retail service outlets, we provide daily service to 4.5 million homes and 900,000 businesses in Sweden. Every day we handle close to 20 million pieces of mail. With sales of over SEK 25 billion and roughly 30,000 employees, the group is one of the largest in Sweden. The group's parent, Posten AB (publ), is wholly owned by the Swedish Government. For more information, please visit our website at www.posten.se