Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Banking services in US

I just noticed a pretty big business oppurtunity / problem with the banking services. I have a bank account with ABC. A few days back I opened a bank account with some other bank XYZ (hoping for better services). I initiated a bank to bank trasnfer from ABC to XYZ. I was informed that the transfer could take anything between 1-3 days. The money was deducted from my ABC account on the 2 day ie. today, but that money didnt show up in my account in XYZ. The transaction is still shown under "Pending" in XYZ. Technically the money has just vanished and I dont have it in any of my accounts.

I see this as a very big potential business oppurtunity. Either of the banks could have put my transaction on a hold for a day and since its still not the 3rd day, they can always safely say that in this case the transaction took 3 days. The key point to note is that one of the banks has my money but still hasnt upgraded my account status. If hundred's of such transactions were happening every day (which I am sure do happen), the bank stands to have a phenomenal amount of money at hand, on which they dont need to pay any interest but can play around with that money :-). You can potentially do day-trading and make huge profits.

The other point being that is so obvious - a problem for a normal consumer / customer. Why does a bank to bank transfer take 3 days in this so called Internet age? Well I know banking services in US are pathetic to say the least, but that does not mean that customers can be taken for a ride ! At times I cant believe that I am actually in US and the kind of services being offered are accepted by people. Seems to me as if I am living in 19th century. Some more minor samples of banking services that I have witnessed firsthand are -

  • A (intra city) wire transfer took more than 3 days.
  • Banks charge fees for incoming wire transfers (even in India I didnt pay for that)
  • Cheques are not always free. (The only service so called banks provide is happily take your money and laugh on you)
  • Your account is not free if you cant maintain a minimum balance or make direct deposits.


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4 comments:

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