February 11, 2015 Last Updated 8:43 am

USPS: businesses should stick to paper bills to customers

But it will be difficult to convince businesses to stick to paper when going digital cuts not only printing costs, but that mailing cost that goes to the USPS

The study was commissioned by the Postal Service and it came up with the results the USPS would have wanted: people like paper bills over digital. See, businesses, stick to paper.

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General collaborated with the consulting firm InfoTrends on the three month study which showed that 91 percent of customers prefer paper billing to paying their bills online.

USPS-Print“Research shows that consumers value the physical mailpiece as a record-keeping tool and reminder to pay,” the study concludes. “Moreover, consumers do not save any money by receiving their bills digitally, whereas they save postage when they pay online.”

But the reason companies have moved to online bill paying has nothing to do with what their customers want, of course. It is a cost saving measure. They, and their customers, don’t have to pay the USPS to deliver those bills.

It is the same rationale used by many publishers in 2010 to push for the creation of the first digital editions. Not only would there not be any printing costs, but distribution costs were nil. Even with Apple taking out 30 percent, most publishers realized that they would come out ahead (assuming they could get readers to move to digital).

Just last week the USPS was able to report a 4.3 percent increase in revenue for the final quarter of last year (though the first quarter of their fiscal year). For the quarter the USPS recorded a a net loss of $754 million.

What boosted revenue, of course, was an improving economy as consumers felt better about their prospects (the same reason that the unemployment rate actually ticked up last month despite strong job growth, more people are reentering the job market).

“Our employees delivered double-digit growth in packages this holiday season, which shows our growing ability to compete for and win new package delivery customers,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan.

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