Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Banking in China

This post, like pretty much all my other posts should be backdated.. but.. meh.

We arrived in Shanghai on the evening of 6th May. 2 days later, on Thurs 8th May we went to the bank to open an account. During the first week of May in China there is a week long public holiday. Because of this, the banks would be very very crowded and the queues would be very long when we tried to go.

Fortunately, my mother's relative had a special 'gold' or premium account at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. So Mike and I went with him to his bank. He also had to go anyway. We thought we could get served quickly but after waiting almost an hour, this was still considered 'fast' service. I'm sure the other people there would have been waiting many many hours. And that was when it first hit me, there are soooo many more people here. We're talking 18 million in ONE CITY compared to 20.7 million for the entire COUNTRY of Australia. Wow.

A few weeks later, after we got the internet connected, it occured to me.. that we should set up internet banking. However, I was scared. I was now very very scared of the Chinese people. The woman who served us at the bank was possibly one of the most unhelpful people I had come across in China, and not a good first impression. She has scared me from ever going back to the bank - ever!

On 30th May I decided I wanted to set up internet banking but got scared that I may have to call the bank or go into the bank. I know some Mandarin but my Chinese is not that great (I have the vocab of a 5-6 year old) and since I didn't have any money in there anyway I just kind of forgot about it.

Then, a few nights ago, Mike decided to have a go doing it himself. In Australia there is a series of security measures you have to do before setting up internet banking. For eg, when I set it up at Commonwealth (the biggest bank in Australia) I had to fill out a form at the bank and give them THREE passwords. A few weeks later they rang me up on the phone to confirm these three passwords - by which time I'd practically forgotten them. I got 2 pretty easily but had trouble with the third. The lady was kind enough to hint and I finally got it.

So with this in mind I assumed it would a similar thing here, but nope. It was actually easier!! Mike did it all himself without a single phone call or anything.

He went to the website (linked above) and filled in the details from our keycard, our password, and voila. We made an online account. And it was so easy because it was all in English - hallelujah!!

1 comment:

Siew said...

I wonder what the internet fraud is like in China?