Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ch-ch-check it Out

American retail banks remain in the Dark Ages.

To move money from one institution to another requires you either to pay a ridiculous "wire transfer" fee both to send and receive the funds; or you can write a cheque.

To pay a utility bill, you have to write a cheque.

To pay your rent, you have to write a cheque.

To pay a cheque into your account requires you to endorse it on the back - because you can trivially sign over your cheque to someone else.

It amazes me that the concept of electronic transfer of funds is nearly non-existent over here. In fact, when you use your online bank account to pay a bill, quite often all they do is mail the recipient a cheque! Instead of investing in technology to provide this simple (and very useful) facility, they've invested in technology that allows them to scan every single cheque that is written and deposited, so that it can be displayed "electronically" via your online bank account - an almost entirely useless feature.

Oh, and they insist of calling them "checks".

America doesn't run on Dunkin', it runs on bureaucracy.

1 comment:

Bing Bing said...

It's the end of an empire. Don't you know? Half the people in this country sit around at their tea parties with the Mad Hatter and scream that they "want their country back!" ... to the 19th century. We're behind in cell phone technology, wireless speed, inter banking transfers, rail, universal health insurance. God help you if you engage in some self-reflective criticism. You become instantaneously un-American. It's really quite a neat trick how easy it's done.