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Banking differences

Banking differences

Old Oct 15th 2009, 9:32 am
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Default Banking differences

And I thought it would be so simple....

We bank with both HSBC here and in the States, I can't believe just how different the two systems are, and how much harder the American's make it!

Here I would log on to Internet banking, set up a standing order and that's that, payment into their account same day every month until I say so.
Or if a one off payment is needed I would transfer the funds and the recipient would see them in their account within hours due to the faster payments system. No need for anything other than name, account number and sort code, no need for internet banking, can be done over phone or in branch or even on my iphone.

There, go through long winded sign up for 'Bill Pay' which can only be done once we changed the bank address to our USA one.
Find out Landlord's new address by emailing him and realise that for some reason HSBC doesn't recognise him as being able to have electronic payments due to the fact that it wouldn't even entertain the idea of me adding his account and routing number. We do all this on the 10th thinking the same processes would be in place, but give the money 5 days to get into his account, just incase, we'll be good tenants.
WRONG!! Bank issues a check to be sent to Landlord, a check (It'll take me a while to get back into using those old fashioned things) and they don't issue this check until the 13th.
Which ensues snotty email from Landlord asking where is the rent and if it's not in his account by Friday... So I show him the online statement to say it's left and on its way.

Great start to our lease!!
Must remember next month to do all that a little earlier in the month!

16 days until we move!!
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by NYCbound View Post
And I thought it would be so simple....

We bank with both HSBC here and in the States, I can't believe just how different the two systems are, and how much harder the American's make it!

Here I would log on to Internet banking, set up a standing order and that's that, payment into their account same day every month until I say so.
Or if a one off payment is needed I would transfer the funds and the recipient would see them in their account within hours due to the faster payments system. No need for anything other than name, account number and sort code, no need for internet banking, can be done over phone or in branch or even on my iphone.

There, go through long winded sign up for 'Bill Pay' which can only be done once we changed the bank address to our USA one.
Find out Landlord's new address by emailing him and realise that for some reason HSBC doesn't recognise him as being able to have electronic payments due to the fact that it wouldn't even entertain the idea of me adding his account and routing number. We do all this on the 10th thinking the same processes would be in place, but give the money 5 days to get into his account, just incase, we'll be good tenants.
WRONG!! Bank issues a check to be sent to Landlord, a check (It'll take me a while to get back into using those old fashioned things) and they don't issue this check until the 13th.
Which ensues snotty email from Landlord asking where is the rent and if it's not in his account by Friday... So I show him the online statement to say it's left and on its way.

Great start to our lease!!
Must remember next month to do all that a little earlier in the month!

16 days until we move!!


Sorry to hear you are having a few issues with your payments, not even in the rental and already getting nasty letters from your landlord! classic

Most payments made through your bank monthly, should just go through in the same way as in the UK, utilities/phone/internet etc. There will be some that don't and will need checks to be sent, just make sure you know which ones and allow extra time. We have been caught out by these too.

Good luck with your move, hope everything else goes smoothly for you
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Welcome to the US banking system, it will get worse when you actually start using it properly.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

I don't know HSBC but Citibank allows me to do what you claim to do in the UK. I have a "standing order" to pay each bill XX amount on XX date and that includes "mailing" a check to my landlord on the 27th of each month for the follow month's rent. The landlord will not allow direct transfer into their account. I have no problems at all. And I can change the amount paid at whim.


Originally Posted by NYCbound View Post
And I thought it would be so simple....

We bank with both HSBC here and in the States, I can't believe just how different the two systems are, and how much harder the American's make it!

Here I would log on to Internet banking, set up a standing order and that's that, payment into their account same day every month until I say so.
Or if a one off payment is needed I would transfer the funds and the recipient would see them in their account within hours due to the faster payments system. No need for anything other than name, account number and sort code, no need for internet banking, can be done over phone or in branch or even on my iphone.

There, go through long winded sign up for 'Bill Pay' which can only be done once we changed the bank address to our USA one.
Find out Landlord's new address by emailing him and realise that for some reason HSBC doesn't recognise him as being able to have electronic payments due to the fact that it wouldn't even entertain the idea of me adding his account and routing number. We do all this on the 10th thinking the same processes would be in place, but give the money 5 days to get into his account, just incase, we'll be good tenants.
WRONG!! Bank issues a check to be sent to Landlord, a check (It'll take me a while to get back into using those old fashioned things) and they don't issue this check until the 13th.
Which ensues snotty email from Landlord asking where is the rent and if it's not in his account by Friday... So I show him the online statement to say it's left and on its way.

Great start to our lease!!
Must remember next month to do all that a little earlier in the month!

16 days until we move!!
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I don't know HSBC but Citibank allows me to do what you claim to do in the UK. I have a "standing order" to pay each bill XX amount on XX date and that includes "mailing" a check to my landlord on the 27th of each month for the follow month's rent. The landlord will not allow direct transfer into their account. I have no problems at all. And I can change the amount paid at whim.
Yep I can do all that, and for next month and the months following that's what will happen, it was the sending of a check I wasn't quite banking on and how long that would take! Banks here don't do sending cheques, unless it's a Bankers Draft and I think even they are becoming a little obsolete.
It's just a little bit different, that's all, I'm used to things being a little more instant, I just assumed it would be similar, must never do that, 'ass' and 'me' and all that!
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by NYCbound View Post
Yep I can do all that, and for next month and the months following that's what will happen, it was the sending of a check I wasn't quite banking on and how long that would take! Banks here don't do sending cheques, unless it's a Bankers Draft and I think even they are becoming a little obsolete.
It's just a little bit different, that's all, I'm used to things being a little more instant, I just assumed it would be similar, must never do that, 'ass' and 'me' and all that!
I don't think it is a real check but an e-check that they are sending. I suspect they do it that way if a billing account number is not available since a normal electronic transfer in the US does not have enough information in the packet to fully identify the transaction (eg. no place to put comments).

US normal electronic transactions are also slower than in the UK. This is because electronic transfers are batch transferred at night to the Automated Clearing House (ACH), then on to the receiving bank, and finally back to the originating bank (can take several days to complete the loop). Even though this may seem to be a slow process, it is significantly better, faster, and cheaper than the current system in the euro zone to transfer between countries.

Last edited by Michael; Oct 15th 2009 at 1:46 pm.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I don't think it is a real check but an e-check that they are sending.
You'd think that. I paid my water bill using my banks bill pay system for a couple of months and I always got a note saying it was paid late even though it was scheduled a few days before the due date. Turns out that they printed off a check on the day it was scheduled, mailed it out sometime later via regular USPS from the banks main office and it was getting to the water company late. The banking system here is archaic and still very much paper based regardless of what they say.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

I actually think the online bank features are much better in the US (We have Bank of America). On a couple of occasions, I've tried to do somethings similar with Lloyds, and all of a sudden the UK online banking (Lloyds, at least) seems extremely limited.

I like the US banks generally have an inbuilt email function where you ask queries about your account. The online bill pay and such like is better and more comprehensive; also (with BOA, anyway), any charges, even if they are pending, show up immediately when you use your card. Plus their ATM's scan any checks you might be paying in, and tall yup the amount without you having to add it all up - good stuff.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
I actually think the online bank features are much better in the US (We have Bank of America). On a couple of occasions, I've tried to do somethings similar with Lloyds, and all of a sudden the UK online banking (Lloyds, at least) seems extremely limited.
That sounds like an issue with Lloyds rather than UK banks in general; I use firstdirect in the UK and they have the ability to send messages from within the online system. I had the same experience as the OP when I moved over here - if you want to pay someone who's not a large corporation (eg. landlord), the only way to do it seems to be by cash or cheque - there's no way to perform an electronic transfer. I'm also having to get used to being charged for everything - from using another bank's ATMs, to transferring money from my account to my wife's account.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by aebrett View Post
That sounds like an issue with Lloyds rather than UK banks in general; I use firstdirect in the UK and they have the ability to send messages from within the online system. I had the same experience as the OP when I moved over here - if you want to pay someone who's not a large corporation (eg. landlord), the only way to do it seems to be by cash or cheque - there's no way to perform an electronic transfer. I'm also having to get used to being charged for everything - from using another bank's ATMs, to transferring money from my account to my wife's account.
Yep...that is one massively irritating aspect. I remember all the furore in the Uk about unfair ATM charges....shame it didn't follow over here.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
I actually think the online bank features are much better in the US (We have Bank of America). On a couple of occasions, I've tried to do somethings similar with Lloyds, and all of a sudden the UK online banking (Lloyds, at least) seems extremely limited.

I like the US banks generally have an inbuilt email function where you ask queries about your account. The online bill pay and such like is better and more comprehensive; also (with BOA, anyway), any charges, even if they are pending, show up immediately when you use your card. Plus their ATM's scan any checks you might be paying in, and tall yup the amount without you having to add it all up - good stuff.
Not my experience so far, HSBC in the UK has the email system, so do all the credit card sites I use. In fact 99% of what I need to do can be done online and quickly.
No charge for ATM's, even if another bank, you can be charged if using certain independent cash machine but this can be avoided by getting cash back. Infact the lady from HSBC USA made me laugh as she started to explain this 'new' thing they have called 'cash back'. Only been here for about the last 10 years! Also no charge for basic bank accounts full stop. The thing about checks is by the by as no shops accept them and you don't get a new book unless you ask.

Archaic maybe (I say definitely), but as my other half keeps reminding me, slightly more banks and people in America than here to coordinate.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

One big warning on the banking deal, and this from personal experience.

Back with NatWest in the UK, if I set up a direct debit from my account, I had to sign a waiver to approve it giving the vendor access to make the withdrawal, here in the US if you have the routing number and account number, you're good to go (not necessarily all banks though).

So came the day that $150 disappeared from my checking account to pay for someone else's personal loan.

Now THAT sucks
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Originally Posted by NYCbound View Post
WRONG!! Bank issues a check to be sent to Landlord, a check (It'll take me a while to get back into using those old fashioned things) and they don't issue this check until the 13th.
We found that out when we were buying our house. Had to send $4K final payment to the escrow company before day of closing and the check was still in the post. Sellers Realtor stumped up the money and we paid him bank.

US banks are still in the dark ages.

Last edited by lansbury; Oct 15th 2009 at 6:03 pm.
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Everything for me is instant with the exception of the landlord. He is the bugger that won't participate in instant cash transferable. I haven't received any notices from them about it being paid late and the bank mails it out on the 27th from Texas to New York if that is any help.


Originally Posted by NYCbound View Post
Yep I can do all that, and for next month and the months following that's what will happen, it was the sending of a check I wasn't quite banking on and how long that would take! Banks here don't do sending cheques, unless it's a Bankers Draft and I think even they are becoming a little obsolete.
It's just a little bit different, that's all, I'm used to things being a little more instant, I just assumed it would be similar, must never do that, 'ass' and 'me' and all that!
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Banking differences

Nope, for Citibank it is an actual check check.

Last month the landlord decided it wanted to use another corporate name on the check and mailed it back to me to have the bank reissue the check. That's the only way I know what it was.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I don't think it is a real check but an e-check that they are sending. I suspect they do it that way if a billing account number is not available since a normal electronic transfer in the US does not have enough information in the packet to fully identify the transaction (eg. no place to put comments).

US normal electronic transactions are also slower than in the UK. This is because electronic transfers are batch transferred at night to the Automated Clearing House (ACH), then on to the receiving bank, and finally back to the originating bank (can take several days to complete the loop). Even though this may seem to be a slow process, it is significantly better, faster, and cheaper than the current system in the euro zone to transfer between countries.
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