September 12, 2009

Going Nowhere Part II

I have to pay my son’s school fee, but the admin offices are open when I work, and closed when I am free. I don’t have a checkbook, and to send my son out the door with a thick bundle of dollars is – for everyone who is familiar with my son – not a good idea.
In Holland (and many other countries), I could send it electronically, from my account to the school’s account, in a matter of seconds. Here in Lebanon, online banking means that you can only look at your bank account over the internet, but that is all you can do; look. You can also do things like:
Define 'meaningful' to me, please.

But yesterday, when I was ‘looking’ at my virtual money, I noticed a new item in the sidebar Money Transfer. NEW!
Aha, I thought, problem solved. I’ll transfer the school fee online. And so I clicked. I got to the next window. Now who would want to transfer money to himself, I was wondering, and I clicked on the 'another account outside' link. And what do I get?
It seemed that in order to transfer money online, I’d actually have to come to the bank and get permission to do so. Well, what did I expect, that things would go that simple? And so, this morning, I got up early, went to the bank to get this money transfer business set up.

At the bank, the lady asks me;
"Do you have the bank account of the beneficiary? "
“What do you mean?”
I ask.
Well, we need the account number of who you are going to send it to.”
“Well, I might send money to lots of different people,”
I say.
"Oh, well, we’d need the accounts of the beneficiaries, which we send to the main office, and then when we get it back, you can pick up the papers, and transfer the money to those beneficiaries.”

The lady was either void of any sense of humor, or totally oblivious to the absolute ridiculousness of her request, as she said this with an absolutely straight face.

So there really is no online money transfer, if first you’d have to go in person to the bank to give the account number of the person you're going to send it to. I might as well get the money from my account (in person), and walk to the school in person, and I would get the money there faster than I would with my bank’s ‘Online Banking’ system. This is positively archaic.
Can anyone advise me of a bank in Lebanon that does have an ACTUAL online banking system, rather than the virtual system of my bank?

We are not going anywhere this way.

15 comments:

angie nader said...

send it with a neighbor or someone who could make the payment for you.
we used to have the issue to..but the schools are usually flexable.

Anonymous said...

maybe you have to get all the information the first time then everything will be in the system and you can transfer it electronically from then on?

Anonymous said...

yea you ass... your bank is merely asking you to visit once to setup for each beneficiary... and then you can x-fer money to the beneficiary over and over without visiting the bank.. at least something better than you had earlier..

Anonymous said...

So for each time I have a different benificary, I go to the bank to start another procedure? You must not be doing any online banking then.
S

Jad Aoun said...

Online banking is a joke in Lebanon. And to think that some banks charge you a fee for using their online "services".

DaZeN said...

The anonymous prick who called her an ass can go fuck her or himself! She was respectfully asking for help and your asinine way of responding was uncalled for.

Liliane said...

lol DaZen, am guessing anonymous works in Blom?

I hate blom, I honestly hate the whole banking system in Lebanon, not just the ridiculous online banking that only allows you to view your account online. I personally don't know any other bank that does better online banking, I mean supposedly Blom is bank of the year and keeps winning awards, I personally prefer Audi, but they also have an online banking system where you only view your statement...

Anonymous said...

Lebanon is banking HELL! all banks suck suck suck! both online offline and over the phone!

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, stop complaining please. Of course you have a laughable banking system in Lebanon, but look at it this way. you still get to see your data over a broadband link, whereas is Africa you can't. Data transfer in Africa is faster by pigeon: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1212333/Pigeon-post-faster-South-Africas-Telkom.html . It's not that bad in Beirut, is it? Y.

Francine said...

"[Give meaningful names to your accounts etc]
Define 'meaningful' to me, please.
Now who would want to transfer money to himself, I was wondering"

Well, you can have 3 accounts, which you name Mona, Hoda and Soha. Meaning for instance Mine, Hers and Secret. You can turn around the money between Mona and Hoda and between Mona and Soha and show the tax revenue authorities empty accounts at a certain date :)
And if you want to divorce you make a mistake...

I noticed you can order a checkbook online? Or is that only looking at it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, this Mona/Hoda/Soha thing is actually a very good idea. You could add accounts, like one for A. where he receives his weekly allowance and then you can transfer the weekly money to his account online, now is that cool or not? Do the same for H., so then you have a six-year old with online money transfers, who said electronic banking was crap in Lebanon? Between the three of you, you could rotate the money and make it disappear from W. and leave him confused... Y.

Anonymous said...

Try transferring the money from a foreign account (if you have one)....
If you can access this foreign account from Lebanon...
Problem solved.....

Anonymous said...

Maybe they dislike online banking since ppl can easily transfer all their money to an account abroad in case of war, etc ...

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Anonymous said...

You can do whatever you want in Lebanon. Banks in Lebanon care more about risk than foreign banks. That's why the banking system wasn't affected in Lebanon by stock exchange crisis a few years back. But you can sign a paper with your bank that you are taking responsibility of fraud, set limit to your transfer, and the bank will allow you anything you need. I am not pro banking, but this is honestly not a problem. In foreign countries they let you sign such papers too. I think the banking system has other problem such as the fixed interest rate when you get a loan. But ebanking is not problem here.