Ten bucks doesn’t buy you much these days. It may be enough to feed you at lunch if you eat junk or are on a diet, it may even buy you a round of drinks if you only have one friend. However one thing it will definitely buy you is a bank cheque.
Some of you may think that is $10 is pretty pricey for what is basically a piece of paper, and you would probably be right.
I understand that a bank has overheads, rent, staff, equipment insurance etc … so I guess that although sounding quite pricey, the cost may be justified, after all the banks aren’t greedy right?
I had never really thought much about the cost of this service, I can’t remember the last time I’ve used it, however I had a conversation with a woman earlier this week that made me think about the cost of bank cheques and how it affects some parts of the community.
Nancy is a pensioner, so to say she weighs up the wants and needs with every dollar spent would be an understatement. Still, as hard up as she may be, she has a generous nature and tries to find a little to spare so she can support a charity or two. I thought it was touching to see someone who has so little prepared to give what is to them so much to help a worthwhile cause.
Nancy is pushing uphill from the wrong side of 70, and along with racking up the years has developed a distrust for a few things such as credit cards, internet banking and Tony Abbott, all of which I understand completely.
So what has all this got to do with bank cheques?
Well, Nancy struggles to support charities that she would normally like to help out on occasion as donating money is becoming too expensive for her. Nancy has no credit cards, no means of BPay and does not get around much as her mobility isn’t what it used to be. This means she would love to go to the bank near her, a Commonwealth Bank, and be able to have a bank cheque drawn out to her charity of choice however at $10 it is too expensive for her. The cost of a cheque usually equivalent to what she wishes to donate.
Nancy scrimps and saves to be able to donate $10 or $20, so to be charged a further $10 just to be able to do that is just too much for her. The alternative is a money order, which costs $7 so that’s not much better really.
With the big four banks posting profits as big as the holes in the Coalitions costings and budget numbers, well maybe not quite that high, but still in the $Billions you would think that they may be in a position to help out.
Why can’t one of the banks put forward a policy of providing free bank cheques to registered charities? It should be quite simple cheques are printed via computer anyway, all they need to do is add a database of registered charities. Alternatively they could offer free bank cheques to anyone with a pension card. Or then again, here is a novel idea, why not do both?
If one bank takes the lead it should put pressure on the others to follow suit.
I’m sure the price to pay for this gesture to the banks would be tiny in comparison to even a weeks profit for them, but the benefit to the charities and pensioners could be enormous. I don’t even imagine the stingiest of shareholders would get all bent out of shape over this tiny cost.
The banks have been trying to promote themselves as “part of the community” for years now, and appear desperate to portray themselves as compassionate and generous. Well, here is an opportunity for them to put that into practice in one small way.
These pensioners have entrusted their life savings with you their entire lives, so what say you give just a little bit back. Call it a loyalty discount if you like.
I promise it won’t hurt a bit, and you can take that to the bank…Follow @madwixxy