Monday, January 11, 2010

Paper Vs Electronic

Many many moons ago I received an email from my financial institution proposing that they would waive the $3 monthly account keeping fee should I elect to have an electronic statement. Yes, we are being charged a fee for having an account with bank. However, there are exemptions. Are you being charged a fee for being a customer to your bank?

I have been using electronic statements for more than 5 years now. I find them very convenient. Papers do note pile up. Should there be a change of address, I need not worry about informing the whole world about it. Besides, the most important reason is no lost mails mean no worries of crooks reading them.

Today, a news about identity theft was on the tele. They are targeting suburbs, one of which is where I live. Police are hunting for a Chinese nationality, 24 year old man, stealing people's mails so that they could use the stolen identities to apply for loans. Police believe that they use these fake accounts for money laundering.

That Chinese man was captured on camera going through people's mails. (I wonder if he knows there's a camera there at all?). This reminded me of once I saw a Middle-Eastern appearance man was opening the unlocked mailboxes and searching for most probably credit cards. That was when I lived in Auckland. Later, the body corporate installed locks for all mailboxes. Not being deterred, mails were still scattered on the floor after locks were installed. I guess they would reach for anything their fingers could get in those narrow slots.

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MKL said...

No, I don't get charged for being a customer of a bank.. that's a bit weird, then again, banks are famous to suck out the money of everyone and everything.

Wow, I didn't know people would rummage through your mail, to steal your identity. I guess we'll need like bullet-proof inboxes in the future >_<

Anonymous said...

I think going electronic is the way forward. Saves all the hassle of having to visit banks. But I have an issue with security and as far as local banks here are concerned...I cannot say I have confidence in their system.

Banks here charge a fee for ATM withdrawals exceeding a certain number of times per month. We are also being charged a tax of RM50 per annum for each credit card held.

Shingo T said...

In Singapore, a S$2 levy is charged if you go below S$500 in your account.

Slots of post boxes are locked in the newer flats in Singapore. This way, house owners have the option to prevent spam mails or people trying to dig our mails out (oh really?). The postman has a master key when he wants to put the letters in the boxes (from the back of the mailbox). I wonder what happens if someone else gets hold of the master key.

Tekkaus said...

Nope. I am not charged. :D Wow! $3 is a lot.

War...the Chinese is so daring? :p So it is not safe to have letters sent to our mailbox already huh! The next thing we know, we might be in debt.

Pete said...

My credit card cheque was stolen in the mail last year. The syndicate tried to cash out with a forged cheque...luckily it was detected by the bank!

Lily Riani said...

yeah! we're being charge base on the many times/amount we withdraw, ridiculous. i was once victim of a snatch thieves, they didnt get away with anything but i learnt not to carry lotsa cash... thus i tend to withdraw more times noawadays... but now with the withdrawal charges, we're forced to withdraw large number of cash... guess they dont care abt safety as long as they make more money.

Superman said...

I guess many changed to electronic statements like you said, more convenient and paperless. But some people do feel more secure with the paper in hand.
It is scary for what people will do nowadays to get money. Better watch out and be alert especially on this bad times.

Ai Shiang said...

I don't think banks charge their customers for monthly fee in Singapore and Malaysia. But in NZ and Australia we do get charges. Not sure about the rest of the world.

Mei Teng,
Fees for exceeding withdrawals? I hope it is not a ridiculous amount per month.

I've seen the mailboxes in HDB flats. At least they are quite secured. But the person(s) that have the keys must be trust worthy. Posties do steal mails sometime. But if they get caught, they will be charged with mail fraud.

Yalor, that Chinese is so daring. He is on "visitor visa" some more.

I think those crooks are doing the same here, looking for credit cards and cheques. Lucky for your case, the bank noticed it. Did the person get caught?

Lily Riani,
When I go back to Malaysia, I also don't know how to carry my cash. Can't just use a purse, easy target.

I used to feel more secure with paper too. But once I tried electronic, it's so much better. Besides, I can check whatever transactions online too. Hassle free.

renaye said...

luckily no one here tries to pry open the letter box. and i usually get my credit card from the bank. but when the motive is money, some people would do anything to get their hands on it.

Anonymous said...

It is not. But would be nice if they dun charge at all.

HappySurfer said...

I haven't heard of people violating mailboxes here yet but we do get people using others ID to apply for loans and chalking up huge amounts of debts.

Best to hang on tight to your purse/bag when in Malaysia.

Ayie said...

Nope, we don't get charged and we have paperless options too. Everything here is mostly online. The problem is fraud alert, there was one time when hubs debit identity was stolen and being used by somebody else. Good thing he tracked it down.

fufu said...

yeah e-banking is foc here in germany :) even in japan... everything is electronic :)

Ai Shiang said...

Renaya, Happysurfer,
It is interesting that nobody steals mails in Malaysia yet there are snatch thieves huh? I am surprised.

Mei Teng,
I guess the banks are always crazy about more revenue.

Ayie, Fufu,
Everything is paperless here too. I do most things online. Save time too. No need to queue like the old days. I've not been to the bank (physically) for ages! :o)

I'm also wondering if I could get the telephone and utilities bills paperless too, that will be good.

manglish said...

malaysia banks do..not too sure abt the bank in jpn though..since i was using the postal bank thingy so i dont get charged for it i think hahahah i didnt check actually =p

Adeline said...

It's great that the bank waived the account fee for paperless statements. Banks in Canada still implement a fee to keep an account regardless, unless the customer keeps a minimum balance (amount varies with banks).

gina said...

Here in Malaysia, for credit cards, the courier company always ask for acknowledgment rather than leaving them in the mail box. Then we need to call the bank to activate our credit cards and will be asked secret questions before they approve. I guess in a way, this act as a deterrent for credit cards theft or lost.

Wenny Yap said...

As fast as companies are coming out with new technologies to make life easy for us, the crooks are equally fast at looking at loopholes to cheat, fraud or steal.

We can never be too careful whether we are using the old conventional way or electronically these days.

Rule of the thumb ~ never let others access to our personal details.

Ai Shiang said...

Japan still using paper statement? I though it's the first innovative country?

there are plenty of competition out there. If one bank waives fees the other will follow, normally.

I think that's good to physically collect credit cards. Safer.

Wenny Yap,
You're absolutely right. Crooks are always ahead.