Saturday, March 04, 2006

Twenty-four hour banking (not quite)

All the banks are trying to push their online banking services, and IMHO the state of online banking today has improved dramatically over the past few years. I remember when Bank One (which is now Chase) took their online banking site off-line a few hours in the early AM every weekday, and even longer on the weekends - but that's changed. I used to detest Wells Fargo's site back when I was on dial-up, since one of the first things that happened when connecting was that it would send down a fresh certificate file, which took a while at 28.8 kps ;-)

Obviously the technology investment is offset by the potential staff reductions or other similar cost-reduction efforts. But for the typical business with employees, payroll & benefits amount to 2/3 of its expenses, so this area is an easy target for cost reductions.

But what's the deal with "bank business days" - ?? What a thoroughly antiquated concept. If I can transfer funds and make payments at the click of a mouse, why is it that a deposit made on Saturday or Sunday, whether ATM or drive-thru or even walk-in, doesn't get posted until Monday? With the advent of electronic check processing, banks being empowered by the so-called Check 21 initiative, the time has come for the bank business day concept to be retired.

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