Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Moving money the old-fashioned way

AIMS purchased the ticket for my wife, Tricia, to come to Cape Town to join me for a vacation. It was just easier for them to book both sets of tickets so that we could fly back together on the same plane. Of course, we must pay them back.

In this age of PayPal, VISA, debit cards and world banks, you would think that moving money around the world would be as easy a pressing a few buttons. So I went to my bank branch and gave them the account information for where our money should go. The teller said that "wiring" the money would cost me $30, and intermediate charges would be levied resulting in an additional $45 charge when the money is claimed on the other end.

So, it would cost about $75 to take some of my money and transfer it into a South African bank account.

Does that sound ludicrous to anyone else?

Instead, I had a certified cheque printed and sent via registered mail for a total of $26. That's right, a piece of paper is going to embark on a journey half-way around the globe.

It's time for the banks to wake up to the information age. If they don't, then they'll be overcome by the PayPals of the future.

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