E-receipts gaining popularity with retailers
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CHARLOTTE - When customers at the U.S. National Whitewater Center's restaurant are ready to pay, cashiers enter orders and swipe cards on an iPad.
"It doesn't require printer, paper, anything like that," said the center's Sean Seifert.
The whitewater center uses a product called Square, which turns an iPad into a cash register.
Customers sign with their fingers and can choose to have receipts sent to their phones by text or email.
"They get really excited about the product,” Seifert said. “It's like, 'Hey what's that, what are you doing there?'"
The center is part of a growing trend at small and large businesses -- giving customers the option of an e-receipt.
This week, Wells Fargo announced it has issued 100 million e-receipts at ATMs nationwide.
"It equates to about 20,000 rolls of print paper that we've saved," said Curt Radkin, a senior vice president at the bank.
That's enough paper to stretch from Raleigh to Asheville on Interstate 40 15 times.
Wells Fargo says the initiative is part of its efforts to go green while saving money and making life easier for customers.
"There's a huge commitment to reinvest in our communities that we work in and live in and play in," Radkin said.
Apple started using e-receipts at its stores in 2005. Now, major retailers like Gap, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters offer the option to customers.
At first, the whitewater center worried customers would be so fascinated with the technology, it would slow down the lines.
"They actually pick it up really quick,” Seifert said. “They type it in really quick and get on their way."
Staffers say the program works so well, they're planning to add more iPads.
Seifert says we shouldn't be surprised when e-receipts take the place of actual paper at most stores.
"I think it's definitely the way of the future," Seifert said.