Traditionally, issuing and storing paper receipts has been one of the more painful parts of running a business. Time consuming and cumbersome, paper receipts are in the same ballpark as telegraphs and fax machines: clunky relics of a bygone age.
Luckily, paper receipts are now becoming a thing of the past. Now, digital capture and storage of invoices and receipts is sufficient to satisfy legal and tax requirements in a number of European Union countries. Crucially, this now includes the United Kingdom.
United Kingdom: Digital receipts for HMRC
As of 17 April 2018, HMRC has confirmed that the electronic capture and storage of receipts fulfils legal and taxation requirements for businesses based in the United Kingdom, providing information is stored securely in a way which retains the integrity of original data.
If your business is on the cusp of switching to digital receipts and tossing out those stacks and stacks of paper receipts, you can now do so confidently.
Elsewhere…Outside of France and the United Kingdom, the rest of the world is something of a mixed bag when it comes to the digital capture and storage of receipts.
Digital receipts are legally recognized in:
The United States
There’s a lot to fret over these days. Whether you’re entitled to a paper receipt when you buy something seems like a decidedly small matter, all things considered.
But it can have potentially large ramifications for consumers in terms of their ability to return products, seek warranty protections, maintain purchase records and itemize tax returns
The benefits of eliminating paper receipts extend beyond environmental concerns “I prefer paper receipts,” he said. “They’re nice for record keeping and tracking. Shouldn’t it be my choice if I want one?”
Following are just a few of the advantages of eliminating paper receipts:
1. Paperless Receipts Increase Efficiency and Save Big Money
Whether at home or at work, sorting through paper receipts can be time-consuming and unproductive. In our personal lives, we might tuck a receipt away, then forget where we put it. At work, inputting piles of receipts into an expense report is time consuming.
Paperless systems like emails and databases can make sorting receipts simple and reliable. In large organizations, permissioned access to receipts can actually provide a better safeguard than locking them in a room or file cabinet somewhere.
Some retailers have started offering options around your proof of purchase, like having your receipt emailed to you, or declining a receipt altogether, but there are many laggards in this area.
Forward-thinking organizations should start planning to address this trend, or else lawmakers might act for them – while the initial proposal banning receipts in California failed, you can expect that it’ll be picked up again.
Additionally, organizations that have shortened paper receipts have seen massive business gains – imagine what ending paper receipts could do for the bottom line.
Improving Customer Service and CX
Ditching thermal paper receipts doesn’t just benefit consumers. It also provides businesses with a unique opportunity to improve and personalize the customer journey by showing shoppers that they remember them and value their loyalty.
Keep in mind that over 80% of consumers are willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience, thereby providing organizations the crucial insights necessary to provide an outstanding customer experience.
How Top Companies are Digitizing Receipts while Saving Time and Money
As corporations are beginning to take the lead more frequently on social issues, they’re often discovering that there are tremendous business benefits to those initiatives. One of the least favorite tasks that employees deal with is expense reports – but what if those reports could nearly write themselves while also reducing paper receipts?
Here’s a few examples of how organizations are using the digitization of receipts for better environmental and business outcomes:
· Employees can snap photos of receipts, then using AI, expenses are populated into their expense report (note we would encourage employees to request a digital receipt when possible)
· Integrations with hotel partners and vendors allow e-receipts to automatically import and populate expenses
· Corporate card integrations allow digital receipts and expenses to flow directly into expense reports
In an emerging value-based economy, retailers who choose to convert to digital receipts could find themselves at a real advantage because there’s good news to spread: they care about their consumers’ health and the environment.
What better way to show it than by eliminating paper receipts?
Why Retailers Are Embracing Digital Receipts
Digital receipts were originally pushed by the Apple Store and a few start-ups as part of the sustainability movement.
When customers opt for a digital receipt, it is sent via email rather than being printed out and handed to them.
Some of the benefits of digital receipts are that they are less expensive and help with customer retention.
Most of us give little thought to the decidedly unglamorous and oft-maligned sales receipt.
In the early 2000s, before the explosive growth of retail mobile apps and before the benefits of email address capture became known, the Apple Store and a few start-ups pushed digital receipts as part of the growing sustainability movement.
The environmental benefits of eliminating paper receipts are widely known. But now, those “green” receipts have gone mainstream. The biggest reason? Digital receipts bring significant business benefits, no matter the retailer’s size or type. More than that, digital receipts are transforming retail marketing.
It is time now for all businesses to adopt and embrace the paperless receipt world! Digital Receipts