min read

Going Green: Tesco Bank's Journey to a Paperless Future

Tesco Bank saw an opportunity to kickstart a paperless campaign for their new and existing customers.

The ambition was to create a better customer experience, whilst reducing overall operational costs and environmental impact as a business. 

Behavioural challenge



Transform customer experiences

Initially, the effort was met with a set of challenges. Customers were resistant to changes in how they received their banking statements, with some perceiving the switch as effortful or insecure.

In June 2021, only 3,875 customers per month converted to paperless statements. The limited engagement and adoption rate meant that customers were continuing to receive large quantities of paper statements, representing a significant cost to the business each year. 

Behavioural solution

To persuade customers to go paperless, Tesco Bank applied their learnings from our behavioural science training, with our support, to develop three key interventions:

Reducing Cognitive Overload – To dramatically reduce the effort required for customers to activate paperless, we developed a 1-click email campaign. This campaign allowed the customer to go paperless by clicking one button in an email, and the operational team would complete the process in the back end. This transformed going paperless into an effortless experience by removing the psychological and physical barriers.

Creating Persuasive Messaging – Alongside all paperless activity, we developed a consistent message to reinforce the benefits of being paperless.  Instead of “5 steps to complete”, the messaging of ‘Simple, Sensible, Secure’ leveraged the Keats Heuristic, whereby alliterative sentences and sentences that rhyme are perceived as more appealing, trustworthy and memorable. 

Changing The Default - Defaults are one of the most powerful behavioural science techniques, whereby people are likely to stick with a pre-set option. We changed the default for new customers joining the Bank by automatically opting them into paperless banking, with the flexibility to switch to paper if they wanted at any time.


Behavioural outcomes


369% uplift in new customers opting for paperless

21% uplift in existing customers activating paperless

Towards the end of Sept 2022, we saw a peak of 105,120 customers in a month converting to paperless, almost 27x what we saw in the previous year.

The significant rises in paperless conversion means more customers are now enjoying instant access to their statements, more security, and less paperwork.

As a business, they’ve benefitted by reducing printing and postage costs by over £1,000,000 over the past year.

Want to find out more?

We’d love to chat to you about how to start applying behavioural science - book a slot below to catch up with Jez and find out more.