How much banking has become absurd (at least for individual customers)
Spending most of my life in a cash-only economy and only got touch to the modern word of banking for the last few years opened my eyes on a range of problems. I once thought banks was a great idea, giving risk management tasks to the most capable people, earning me money while I rest instead of having them just lying around; I don’t need to carry cash and don’t have to worry about thugs rampaging the streets; and I have nothing to lose, banks shouldn’t charge fee to keep your money, after all, I am giving them my money, and banks ought to be nice to me or I will go somewhere else.
And now I think it’s a ridiculous idea. Really!
They do charge you money for keeping your money, lots of it
I work all week, and when I went out to play in the weekend, I find myself short on cash and some small shops I often visit on those trip don’t like cards very much (reason to be covered later), I came to the ATM to withdraw my money, and greeted with a screen that I will be charged extra fees because I’m withdrawing on a public holiday.
It’s understandable when you have to pay fees withdrawing from other banks than the bank you made the card with because of connection fees and such (to be frank, banks should be able to deal out this with each other without inconveniencing the customer, since it’s their responsibility), but charging their own customer for taking their own money? What kind of world am I living in? I can’t use my money without paying fees? Why am I depositing in the first place? I can just keep all my money under my pillow and use them any good day I want! It’s not like they are hiring someone to stand at each ATM booth, counting and handling the money to you at weekends when their money-crunching networks went out for no reason on weekends! Everything is automated, run 24/24 (Wait, that’s not true either); machines don’t have days off (they don’t know better) and the banks don’t have to pay machines extra for working on holidays, so why are the fees?
They have a huge sum of interests from our money to begin with, and they just can’t offset the operating cost themselves? If they just can’t take care of the money well enough that it cover their operating cost, why do it anyways?
Remember when I said some shops don’t like cards? Oh yes, they charge the business owner fees for having customer use their money. Are you kidding me? Why get everyone to use your stupid blood-sucking credit cards in the first place? We’ve had better time dealing with each other for free you know?
Overdrafts and other hideous practices
Things doesn’t go well for the poor, and if you have a low balance on your card, well, you are as good as bankrupt.
The good thing when keeping your own money is, you can’t spend what you don’t have? You thought that was a bad thing? Let’s say that you purchased lots of things with your credit card, you thought “hey, may be it will just overdrawn a bit, I will be able to pay it back with no trouble!” and your check came several days late and boom! Overdraft fees, processing fees, interest, stacked up all at the same time, and the best part: they compound with a rate much higher than the rate you got with a positive balance!
If you think using a check card or debit card is fine because in theory, you can’t come into overdraft, right?
As you read, in theory. Did you read that you can’t overspent with these cards in the card contract? I guess not! In the real world and not Wonderland, they allow you to go on a spending spree all you want, and at the end of the month send you a short notice that you owe them money, plus interest, and fees, and congratulates you on having the equivalent functions of a credit card to mess your life up!
Banks in the US even charge something called “overdraft protection fee”, which is basically another way of sucking your blood to the last drop: you think you are safe when one account goes into the red and having two accounts to manage your funds will protect you? Wrong! With this great service, you can pay them money to have all your accounts linked together and uses your money to cover the overdraft. That is, when you really ran out of money you can still fall into the overdraft trap!
Judging the main cause of the last global financial crisis is fat bellies selling debt to each other and got off on our tax money with big bonuses, I think now they have become the last people on the world that you should ever give your money to!