Comments on: Financial innovation of the day: smaller fonts http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Mega http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12803 Sat, 20 Mar 2010 00:49:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12803 Actually, in the US they’re more than half. I’d be willing to cut the 90-100 crowd some slack in the name of getting things to function more smoothly, but the financial affairs of anyone below 90 should be placed in the hands of a guardian.

Regrettably, “race to the bottom” seems more and more to be the guiding principle nowadays.

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By: Gasol http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12802 Fri, 19 Mar 2010 21:04:06 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12802 @ Mega
Three-digit IQ; the other half of the population also needs a bank.

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By: iflydaplanes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12799 Fri, 19 Mar 2010 13:51:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12799 @misterdog
Yeah, I got a little carried away. I do understand peoples outrage at the banking industry with todays economy being what it is and the causes of the finanical meltdown and everything, but don’t start attacking us little guys on the bottom rungs of the ladder. That is what frustrated me and it turned into a 736 word rant.

@GingerYellow
The free checking account we offer is not an interest bearing account. While I am sure it could be even more free than it is given the cost of the items it does involve (checks and overdraft fees) in the context of gouging the customer with any fees it can is simply not true.

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By: Mega http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12791 Thu, 18 Mar 2010 23:05:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12791 I never have any problem checking my available balance. It’s the number right next to where it says “available balance,” with cleareds/non-cleareds, pendings/non-pendings, etc., all figured in. If one is put off by the mere sight of such long words, well then, there really isn’t much that can be done about that.

There’s next to nothing on my online account summary that should generate even a bead of sweat on the brow of anyone with a three-digit IQ.

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By: misterdog http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12789 Thu, 18 Mar 2010 22:17:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12789 Yes, iflydaplanes it is that simple! It only took you 736 words to explain how a “simple” free checking account works.

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By: GingerYellow http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12788 Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:56:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12788 Since you, Mr. Salmon, want to attack the concept of a “free checking account” let me counter with this; at the bank in which I work, our “free checking” account is actually free. I have read the fine print in the disclosures. There are not fees other than overdraft fees. There are no monthly fees, there are no minimum balance fees. There are “hidden” fees. The only thing the account holder pays for is checks, which is clearly stated in the disclosure. So I do not know what bank you went to where they “gouged you with fees any chance they got” on a “free” checking account, but it was not the one I work out.

My bank account has no fees for cheques and no overdraft fee other than interest. Seems like your bank’s could be freer than it is. You probably pay a higher rate of interest, it’s true.

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By: iflydaplanes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12786 Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:06:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12786 I work as a bank teller, have been for over three and a half years, and I do not know where Mr. Reich gets his assesment of how a bank describes an available balance. If a customer asks for an available balance we simply say “Your available balance is….”

And I take offense to your claim that only geeky college graduates can understand the “difficult concepts” of a check clearing or a pending charge. Maybe it is difficult for you but pretty much most customers that I interact with understand it just fine. A check is either cleared or it is not. If you as an account holder are expecting a check to clear, make sure your available balance reflects enough to cover the check. How is that difficult to understand? A bank has no way of knowing what checks you have written unless you ask specifically if check number XXX has cleared the account or not.

In todays world of debit then a transaction done on day X may reflect as a “pending” debit. This I admit can be a bit confusing if you are not familiar, as I have had a few customers look at me oddly, but I explain to them as simply as I can that “pending” means that the funds have been put aside already until the debit is processed. Their available balance reflects the debit already being set aside. Pretty much this is what the customer really wants to know. Usually a pending debit is reflected the business day after the transaction is done and “posts” the following business day.

A check that has been “authorized” but not “cleared” is the same as a “pending” bill that hasn’t been “posted”. Mr. Reich should refrain from trying to take one concept and turn it into two scare tactics.

Temporary holds can be placed on an account for many reason ranging from a caution of possible identity theft to legal purposes where lawyers are invovled. We do not discuss these holds when a customers simply asks for their available balance unless there is a block on the entire account all together.

In its simplest form, and overdraft occurs when an account holder accesses more funds than their account has. Being that I am a teller and in no way make policies for the banks I will not discuss the concepts of overdraft fees, how the banks asses them, and the amounts. That’s for those of higher authority then me. What I will say is the way to avoid overdrafts in its simplist form is to make sure the funds are available. You can do that by asking any teller and they will tell you in the simplist form possible “Your available balance is…”

Since you, Mr. Salmon, want to attack the concept of a “free checking account” let me counter with this; at the bank in which I work, our “free checking” account is actually free. I have read the fine print in the disclosures. There are not fees other than overdraft fees. There are no monthly fees, there are no minimum balance fees. There are “hidden” fees. The only thing the account holder pays for is checks, which is clearly stated in the disclosure. So I do not know what bank you went to where they “gouged you with fees any chance they got” on a “free” checking account, but it was not the one I work out.

Mr. Salmon, this blog attempts to take the basic Banking 101 concepts and turn them into a giant scare tactic of how banks are evil and out to get you. You do not have to be highly educated to walk into your local branch and understand the concepts of deposit, withdrawal, check writing, and debit. Whenever an account is opened all disclosures are presented in writing (required by law). All questions are answered as best as possible for the customer to understand. As with any contract it is ultimately up to the customer to read and understand the fine print.

I will say, Mr. Salmon, that in my experience working in the Banking 101 atmosphere its not the ill-education of the customer to the concepts, it’s the customers “the customer is always right” attitude in that they don’t want to take the responsibility necessary to manage their accounts properly, they expect the bank to manage their accounts for them. You would be surprised.

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By: mushr00m http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/03/18/financial-innovation-of-the-day-smaller-fonts/comment-page-1/#comment-12785 Thu, 18 Mar 2010 19:55:16 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=2998#comment-12785 Maybe a word limit should be imposed on descriptions and exceptions for products. I.e. if you can’t describe your product and carve out all your exceptions and fees in 100 words or less, you can’t sell it.

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