EP 541 A Paperless Society is Always Just Over the Horizon


For what seems decades now, futurists have been dreaming about, and predicting, a ‘paperless’ society.  And while there are many reasons it’s taking longer than some would like, it is getting closer by the day.  I am something of a troglodyte in this regard, still making many payments by check and liking paper back ups for my digital transactions.  Check usage, by the way, has declined nearly ninety percent over the last decade.  Even preparation of this podcast involves reams of paper.  Our guest today, Scott Heric, told me that he has not used a printer in years.  HP gives me awards for the amount I consume.  Mr. Heric is the co-founder of Unionly, the online payment platform, built for unions, which makes payments online effortless.  Clearly vendors see many benefits in going paperless, which include costs, time, errors and environmental damage.  And while we are given choices now as to whether we wish to suspend our paper statements, it is likely in the next decade there will no longer be the option of ‘either or’.  First, we have to have more reliable broadband and more universal access to make this transition possible. Many people will need encouragement and training.  And a key institution, government, must make the change from paper to digital communications if we are to realize this desirable future. It’s a fascinating subject which we all grapple with in our daily lives.