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My Dad surprised me the other day. He wanted to put some birthday money into my bank account. This was a lovely gesture, but the surprising part – he didn’t want to transfer the funds via Internet banking and preferred to use his local branch to make the transaction. Now being a good Gen Y daughter I tried to explain that it would be easier to just transfer it online and it was safe these days. My Dad, bless him, explained in reply, that he didn’t get involved with all that computer banking stuff.

I don’t know how I would survive without Internet banking. I even have the bank app on my phone so I have easy instant access. My challenge… spend a whole pay with no online transfers. This sounded easy enough to achieve – after all I don’t really use it that much. Wrong!

I have to admit – I wasn’t as prepared for this as I could have been. Payday snuck up on me and once I realised I couldn’t online bank without breaking my rule I felt quite as though I was up that creek with my paddle floating away in the distance.

My accounts weren’t organised, hell I didn’t even know my account numbers! This was going to be tricky. Luckily I had scribbled down on a piece of paper how much I had to transfer to pay mortgages etc.

Ok, I can do this I resigned. I will just stop in at the bank before I go to that appointment before work. I diligently made a list of how much I thought was in each account and what I needed to put where.

Next morning I set off on my errands, confident I had all this banking business in hand. Little did I know, that lying in wait in the post office box was the electricity bill – threatening to throw a spanner in my works. Damn! No Internet banking means no BPay either. Into the post office I trudge. I find post office queues mildly frustrating at the best of times – more often than not I am stuck behind the person needing a passport or something incredibly complicated. This day was no exception. My patients were really pushed to the limit as I listened to the people in front catch up on how they saw so-and-so on  the street. Come on! I willed in my head. Don’t you know I have to get to the bank! Here nostalgia takes hold as I remember all the times my Mum had to rush to ‘get to the bank’. For the most part this is a thing of the past. Gone are the days where we are at the mercy of the unreasoning banking hours.

I eventually made my way to the front of the queue, paid my bill and off I ran. I was late – but I had to make it to the bank – there was a payment that needed to be made that day.

As I circled the car park I was boiling over with tension. Of course there are no parks. I have to get to the bank! I raged again in my mind.

I scored a park after stalking an elderly lady exiting the shopping centre and I was in. There was no queue – it seems I am not the only one who avoids the branch nowadays. I crossed straight to the teller.

‘I normally do this by Internet banking,’ I felt the need to explain, ‘but I just wanted to transfer some money.’

‘Oh sure there is Internet banking available in the branch.’

The teller waived a hand and I turned to see enticing computer monitors staring back at me. I was in such a hurry – oh how I wanted to just log on and be done in three minutes!

‘Would you mind if I just do it over the counter?’ I disappointedly resigned.

‘No problem.’

Only it was. First of all I have to describe the bank account I wanted the money to go into as I didn’t know the account number.

‘The one with such and such in it, the one that I took so much out of last week.’

We got that sorted and I signed the receipt for the transfer. Luckily I realised that the amount was incorrect. I explained again how much I wanted to be transferred where. The teller had to do another transaction to make up the difference. I signed another piece of paper. By this time I was about to burst. I was late. I was frustrated and I was not sure that the funds had been transferred properly – was my mortgage repayment going to bounce because the teller made an error? I can’t see for myself where the money is sitting. I am not in control, and this perhaps bugs me the most. As she completes the final transaction and counts the money into my hand she smiles ‘Anything else?’

I can’t help but grin. ‘No thank-you.’ I reply, but to myself swear never again.

I was late to my appointment. I was a bundle of stress. I think I may have been a little rude to the teller, and I still am not one hundred per cent sure that the funds are where they should be. It is safe to say that this is one area of my life I will happily embrace the Gen Y version!  Log off.

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