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Banking policies... intrigue me. Things have changed a lot in our economy from when I was young... when getting a paycheck cashed meant going to the bank and getting cash. Of course, you 'could' put your money in a checking account, but checks weren't accepted everywhere and you had to track your spending carefully because a check could sit uncashed for weeks before making it back to your bank and having an effect on your balance. Some people took advantage of that fact, of course, so policies were put in place for insufficient funds and 'bounced' checks.

Today though... banks are digitally connected. Running your debut card at a store both verifies the availability of funds and immediately places a charge on the account. A short period of time is allowed for chargebacks and corrections, but all that information is there. Available. And yet... if you deposit a payroll check to a bank... that information may somehow take days to be verified and your money made available to you? How can this be possible? If a verify from my debut card that there is money available for a purchase... how can a bank be unable to contact another bank via a routing and account number to do the same? Worse... the bank providing those funds for payroll from your company's accounts? Already gone from them. So for some 48-72 hours... funds have left one bank and your employer's accounts... but have not yet arrived in your account at your bank. And sometimes that's the same bank!

Is the money on vacation? Is it sight seeing in Rio? That's a long time for money to travel digitally from bank to bank... and I can't help but wonder who is making a profit off the fact that that money is in transit... somewhere?

 

Strange banking questions aside... we have a great piece from our newest canon member that's been sitting in review for too long and I'm happy to finally release to the public. This is "One Woe Doth Tread Upon Another's Heel" by Phoenix-Spiritus and like Elrod's "Veni, Vidi, Cutie" it deals with some of the remaining fallout from the end of the Spring semester, Gen 1 side. If you have tissues left, you might want to have them handy.

 

Comments   

0 # Sir Lee 2016-10-04 00:37
That's partly the old-fashioned inefficiency of working with checks -- the bank where you deposit the check has no way to verify that it's in fact a valid check (like, is it the right signature? Does the account even *exist*?) until sending the check for the issuing bank.

Could it be done faster? Sure it could -- but it would involve the banks opening more of their systems to each other; they don't want to do it for several reasons, security being one of them, and another being not giving too much info to the competition.

But the dirty little secret is that they already do it faster than the time they say they take. Every day the money spends in limbo between one account and the other is a day that the banks will work that money as if it was theirs.

To put it in perspective: back in the Eighties, when I was an exchange student in the U.S., I was shocked to find that people considered "normal" a checking taking a week to clear. Back home, due to high inflation, banking rules demanded that local checks had to clear in 48 hours -- 72 hours if it was a check from another city. And that was thirty years ago, when banking automation was just starting. I would imagine that they could shave one or two days from their 80's numbers -- if they wanted to.

Which means that checks are becoming obsolete. Nowadays, I hardly ever use checks -- or go to the branch for that matter. I can pay with credit or debit cards, I can wire money instantly from one bank to another -- using my smartphone. Bills include standardized barcodes that can be read by a cellphone or (if you prefer) typed into the banking website. If I need some petty cash, the ATM is closer. Most of my customers direct deposit my invoices.
Really, I can't even *remember* the last time I got a new checkbook. All I can say is that the calendar printed on the back of my current one is from 2009. And, at the rate I use it (one or two checks per year) it will last me a while yet.
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0 # Kristin Darken 2016-10-04 00:52
Last time I wrote a paper check was for rent about 4 years ago.But I do still get paper payroll checks because the theatre I work for refuses to adopt a direct deposit system and a lot of my freelance design work is the only work I'll do for a given company that year... so they just write me a check. And yes, I can deposit those checks with my smart phone or at an ATM... but that doesn't stop me from being mind boggled when I get a notice four or five days after doing so that my deposit has now been accepted.

I KNOW the money has been there for a couple days... so why wait so long before sending the email out? scams... gotta be! :)
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0 # Mister D 2016-10-04 02:16
Not scams, but one source of their profit margin.

It's always better to either deal in direct transfers, or cash.

And paper-money travels in a bug-out bag a little more easily than kruggerands.
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0 # glv 2016-10-04 05:52
The interest they make on the money while it's on vacation
is called "float" in the banking industry. Trust me it's a PILE
of loot. Cash in a bug-out bag? Did you know some k9
'drug dogs' are trained to sniff out paper money?
Did you also know that you can go to your bank and send
funds to another bank, say from Canada to USA, without
having an account on the far end? You arrive and present
ID to the bank managers and they hand you cash. It's kind
of like sending a letter to a post office 'general delivery'.
The much hated Walmart also offers a money transfer
service, you can send funds like western union used to do
but at (I think) less than paypal rates. Recipient presents
ID at the specific Walmart and viola..
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0 # lighttech 2016-10-06 00:09
I know of one thing that happens to it all

the "overnight loan rate" look it up?

the banks "loan" each-other "our" money when we are asleep and not using it!


sure that makes sense---to them!
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0 # Fiction Fan Alex 2016-10-09 21:59
Please help. Couldn't see anyplace else to ask. My user ficfac12345 is now flagged as a spambot. Can you unflagging? Was trying to see if a message that I sent to Kristin had a response.
Thank you.
Alex
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