Why China isn’t going to take over the world.

Now and again I send cash back home. I have to set aside a big chunk of my day to do this. Yesterday, I arrived at the bank and there wasn’t a soul there, except for me. It still took 50 minutes. What the?!?!?!?

I decided to entertain myself by counting the steps involved in a simple international bank transfer. Which, if I was in Australia, I could do entirely online. Or, at the bank with possibly no paperwork? I’m not sure. Maybe one form?

So, today’s transaction included:

  • punching my password into the machine three times
  • signing my name eight times
  • photocopying four tax documents and ‘proof of employment’
  • photocopying my passport, visa, worker’s permit
  • and, processing five forms, which (with the carbon copies) were actually nine pages

Full on, huh? Just imagine the filing cabinets they must have.


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