It’s easy to be green with expensemanger. Users can email their receipts to their expenses and companies can create a paperless claim for any claim type, but what about our personal receipts?

I don’t know about you, but why is it that I can find a receipt for some fruit & veg that I bought for $20 but can’t find that really important $300 receipt that I need to return a faulty widget!

What if the store just emails me the receipt! Now that would be great, never having to keep those pesky bits of paper and always having it if required.

That’s what a lot of retailers in the USA are now doing. It’s a great idea, not only is it convenient but digital receipt are ‘green’. A recent white paper by Celerant Technologies noted that in the U.S. alone, retailers consume 640,000 tons of thermal receipt paper per year, requiring 9.6 million trees for their manufacture.

Wow, and that’s just the environmental impact. For consumers, digital receipts are convenient. No more worrying about keeping it and storing it

With more than a third of major retailers in the US, like Best Buy, Gap, Macy’s, Sears and Wells Fargo offering digital receipts you can sure they will be more and more offered here in Australia.

But, and there is always a but!

Celerant’s study also noted that whilst cost reduction was a leading factor in adopting green receipt technology for retailers, it’s also the e-mail acquisition for list growth as the primary motivator for 83% of the nearly 4,000 retailers who participated in the survey.

Providing consumers with a digital receipt can be a less intrusive way to capture their information!

So retailers embarking on this path will have the challenge of not just the cost of implementing green receipt technology but overcoming the reluctance of some consumers who are already suspicious of the information they are providing to retailers and what they are doing with it. To help overcome these fears retailers will need to give consumers the option of receiving a digital receipt or still receiving a paper one.

New technology players in this market like eReceipts (a consumer storage facility for digitial receipts) claim their model will overcome these fears as they will only require consumers to provide a receipt vault address, and so remaining anonymous.

From my perspective, it’s environmentally friendly, customer friendly and retailer friendly – digital receipts fit the bill and deliver a win-win-win solution.

But just a last thought…..a quote from customer in the US…..

“Tammy Avery-Kentros of Detroit recently shopped at Kmart and came home to a surprise.

“My husband opened the email before I got home and told me everything I bought,” she said. “I guess I can’t shop for him there if I want it to be a surprise.”

Guess I’ll just have to have my own personal receipt vault then!