Cash is king no more; the king has left the building

So it’s Friday, and Alexander has his day off from daycare. So me, myself, I, Filip, and Alexander decide to go on a road trip to deposit the big pile of coins coming from Alexander’s piggybank.

It would seem only one out of every 30 branch offices of the SEB bank is equipped with an automated coin counting machine. Two of them happen to be close to or around the city core of Stockholm. So we go to the first one, because we’ve always used that one when we empty a piggybank and end up with a lot of coins.

I ask the “customer service agent” why the machine has a piece of paper on it saying that it’s out of order and will soon be removed from the branch office; she calmly replies that these machines cost the bank too much money, “there’s a lot of service required to keep them running y’know”. I ask here if the bank is worried that these coin counters will eat into the billions of SEK (Swedish Krona) that the bank is making for profit every year (!); the service agent is way ahead of me (?) and says “Well, maybe our whole company is making that much money, but not this branch office”. No.. ? REALLY?! What dimwit moron put her in charge of customer service?

So I tell Alexander we have to go to another bank because this bank doesn’t want our money anymore. He looks at me with that look that children use to explain that the grown-up world sure seems like a weird place. I mean, who ever heard of a bank that didn’t want to handle money?!

We arrive at the city center office of SEB, where the machine is working; we deposit the coins into my salary account to make it easier to transfer. Of course, it’ll take at least three days before the money arrives into my account. I mean, somebody has to run with all the little coins and physically put them into the account.. or, wait.. no, that was a hundred years ago.. these days we have something called electronic wire transfers; we can transport any amount of state secrets across the world in a flash, but it takes three days for Alexander’s deposited coins to appear on my account.

What is wrong with these people?!

What’s worse, of course, is that we as consumers accept the banks’ lame excuses and their eager beaver attempts at reaping an even greater profit.

3 thoughts on “Cash is king no more; the king has left the building”

  1. I have a solution to Friday’s banking problem!

    The next time the children’s grandmother (that’d be Janet’s mother in this case) comes over with a cash/coin gift, we’ll tell her we’re sorry, but she’ll need a credit card to deposit the gift into our cre

  2. On our last England visit we took with us some English bank notes which were left from an earlier visit. When we got there we found out that said notes were no longer legel tender. We went to a bank to change them, and were asked if we were account-bearing customers. We weren’t, which led to a studied stare from the women behind the counter, as if to suggest we had made some huge cultural error.

    After several seconds silence, I pulled forth my friend (a real friend, not my penis), who was a “member” of the elite community. Still several seconds of silence, though the sheer complexity of what had just happened obviously melted some part of her brain, and we walked away with crispy legal tender.

  3. Oh, and another thing. If you’re in London, and your car gets towed away *whistles*, do not try to pay the £200 fee with coins. It appears there is a law (!) that prevents a certain amount of shrapnel being used in such circumstances. There is even a note on the counter window (it obviously can’t be a very safe job) advising you exactly how much of each type of coin you are allowed to give.

    I wonder how many pissed-off people in the past took out a backpack full off 1 pence pieces, looking smugly at the employee, before this law came into being.

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