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Something better change

A true story.

The year is 1990

I’m travelling and getting the last train home.  Arriving at the station, I discover the last train has gone.  Darnit.  I’m homeless for the night.  OK.  Let’s find a hotel.   I look for the nearest telephone box.  Luckily there’s one at the station entrance.  In the telephone box, I find a beaten up old copy of yellow pages, and look up hotels.  There’s a whole bunch of them.  Grafton Street, Main Street, London Road, Rochester Way … I’ve no idea where I am. Which one to book?  And are any of them near here?  After a while, I decide to call one.  The Holiday Inn at Rochester Way.  After the phone rings for about 50 times, no one answers and I get cut off.  OK.  Let’s try the Grafton Elite on Grafton Street.  Luckily, they pick up.  I find they have no rooms.  So I try the Renaissance on Grafton. They pick up and have a room, but it’s going to be £175 (about £600 today).  No way.  Luckily, a station worker then tells me there’s a YMCA nearby, so I bed down there and just hope the smelly man in the bed next to time doesn’t get up to anything during the night.

The year is 2015

I’m travelling and getting the last train home.  Arriving at the station, I discover the last train has gone.  Darnit.  OK.  Let’s find a hotel.  I open TripAdvisor, and ask my partner where she fancies staying for the night.  Somewhere near the Cathedral she asks.  So I narrow my search to 4- and 5- star hotels near the Cathedral and find a beautiful boutique maison for just £145 for the night.  Booked via Hotels.com, I arrive an Uber (£6) thirty minutes later and check-in to a room with a great view of the town’s 11th century Cathedral.  Chillax.

How times have changed!

The year is 1990

I get a cheque from my friend in America.  It’s for $1,000.  Because it’s a cheque, I have to go to the bank branch.  Luckily I can pay it in, but they tell me it will take 10 days to process.

The year is 2015

I get a cheque from my friend in America.  It’s for $1,000.  Because it’s a cheque, I have to go to the bank branch.  Luckily I can pay it in, but they tell me it will take 10 days to process.

Duh?

I realise the latter does not apply to all banks in all countries, as we do have remote deposit in some areas, but seriously?  25 years and it’s still the same.  C’mon.  Something better change.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

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  • George R. Ogden

    1990 “Arriving at the station, I discover the last train has gone”
    2015 “On my way to the station my phone bleeped with a message from the Railway Co. alerting me to the fact that my train was about to leave the station.”
    Even those companies from the age of steam have overtaken banking!!!

  • Andreas

    Maybe the problem is your friend?
    Cheques are “last century” – I don’t understand why banks should accept this type of payment.
    Try to send a paperbased cheque to Paypal and see when they are going to credit to your account. Not even sure if they accept cheque.