Credit Card Processing Contributes 254,100 Tons Of Waste

Over 4,000,000 Trees

Every year retailers, institutions, and small businesses use more than 254,100 TONS of paper to print non-recyclable receipts on thermal paper using a standard credit card terminal.

Considering it takes 17 trees to make 1 ton of paper, it only takes a simple calculation to realize that's 4,318,000 trees we're cutting down for paper receipts each year (254,000 x 17) - trees that could be saved.

Why Can't Credit Card Receipts Be Recycled?

Most credit card receipts are non-recyclable because of the chemcials used to create them. The typical credit card receipt is printed using thermal paper. This paper is coated with a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA).

BPA is an endocrine disrupter. Not surprisingly it has already been banned by the FDA for use in baby bottles as well as other everyday household goods. It mimics estrogen and causes neurlogical issues. BPA has been linked to various diseases such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

How serious should we be about BPA?

Here are some compelling facts, and then you be the judge:

  • BPA accounts for 3% of the weight of thermal paper used in credit card receipts
  • 27% of the BPA which touches the skin reaches the bloodstream within 2 hours
  • A recent study shows 80% of the US population receives from 1 to 3 receipts per day
  • California legislators are considering adding BPA to a list of toxic chemicals (in Prop 65) known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm

Consider Going Green With Paperless Processing

Fortunately there are alternatives to using credit card terminals and thermal paper. For businesses who like using a terminal they can switch to using non-thermal paper. Of course that still doesn't do anything for the 4.3 mil trees that are cut down each year. Another alternative (and of course the one we consider the best), is to go with paperless processing using your pc.

You can watch a short video which demonstrates how pc-based processing works here.

Electronic Signature Capture

What I like to call 21st Century credit card processing completely removes the need to save and store paper receipts. The only time it's absolutely necessary for a paper receipt is if a customer insists upon it. Most are ok with having you email the receipt to them, but if they aren't you still have the option to print one.

You don't need to keep them yourself because anytime you need a hard copy you can print it. It's far easier to let your processor store your data digitally and access it in your dashboard whenever you need it.

As for signatures you can use an electronic signature pad. This plugs into a USB port on your computer and sits on the counter. When you run a card through a card swiper (which attaches to the side of the monitor with velcro) the customer will be prompted for their signature on the signature pad. Once they sign and press send the signature is stored digitally as a permanent part of the receipt. With the right processor you can also obtain a signature pad programmed to remotely capture signatures when receipts are emailed. This is an excellent option for anyone who wants signatures for orders taken over the phone!

So there you have it. You now have 2 compelling reasons to seriously consider converting to paperless payment processing. The environment and your health are powerful reasons to. There are also a myriad of other benefits - we haven't even scratched the surface.

For more information on the additional benefits of bringing your credit card processing into the 21st Century feel free to contact us here!

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