Am I the only person who thought that when I put my cash card into the slot and typed in the code number, within microseconds money had been transferred from my account to the payee’s? Perhaps not as quickly as that, but if I can send an e-mail and receive an answer within a matter of a few minutes, I would have thought that the whole of the banking system operated on-line. How wrong I was!
I write this as a warning to other folk who might be as simple minded as I am. A bank employee has told me officially that when you use your cash card in a bank, or anywhere else, it takes four days for that transaction to clear through the system. We had lost a credit card account and so arranged with the young lady in a bank to transfer my money from my account to the credit card account belonging to the bank. You can imagine my frustration when I discovered that I was being charged a late charge when in fact the money had been withdrawn from my account on the day intended, but that it was going to take four days to clear. To me this is absolutely crazy, the money was not leaving the banking system, if somebody had made a cock-up, it could easily have been rectified, and there was no possible chance of it going astray. So when they say that they give you a month to pay, they are being economical with the truth, and even if you pay them in the bank, presumably it has to be four days before the account is due, so why not say that instead of 30 days within which to pay, you only have 26.
It is no good pointing out that the credit crunch that we are in, which is losing us money in every way it would be possible, including our shares, was caused because the electronic system of share dealing was instantaneous. How is it that these folk were making instantaneous fortunes, and we simple folk with a small bank account are penalised because the banking system itself while being able to deal instantaneously is not prepared to deal with customers at the same speed?