Every time I go shopping I end up with a pocket full of till receipts.

Aside from the few things I buy offline which are business related (as an IT consultant most physical things I buy are bought off the internet) these receipts invariably end up in the bin.

What a waste of paper.

Given that now, in the UK at least, we are largely a cashless society – how hard would it be for these receipts to simply be emailed?

When you sign up for a credit card you could optionally give an email address to which to send the receipts. For individuals this could be your home email address (but of course doesn’t have to be), and for business accounts this could be the address of your accountant – bam, no more hunting down lost till stubs on tax day!

For simple PDQ machines the receipt could be emailed by your card company so there won’t be anything extra to do. All that would be required is to suppress the printing of the customer copy and a little bit of education.

Itemised receipts like the ones you get at Tescos would require a little more work as it’d be the store’s back end process that would do the actual mailing. The email address itself however can easily be stored on the card’s chip and saved along with the receipt in the shop’s back end system for later mailing.

Apple, typically ahead of the curve (not unsurprising given their industry) do this already, but this requires an in store registration process – impractical for anything other than purchasing the occasional big ticket item.

Its now 2012 – why do I still have pockets full of useless bits of paper?

Just a thought.

Image “Receipts galore” by Smaku