Merchant Bankers

Paying in a cheque to my account at lunchtime, I noticed that the HSBC in London Bridge has a funky new paying-in machine. It scans your cheque in and then uses some kind of OCR to work out the amount written on the cheque. You even get a little mini copy of the cheque on your receipt to take away. Sorry, but I’m a geek, and I think that’s pretty cool. Now, if they could just work out some kind of technology that allows them to clear the cheque in less than 3 days, that’d be great…

In other bank-related ramblings, I’ve always loved the fact that Barclay’s cash machines don’t give you a receipt: instead they offer you an “advice slip”. Every time I get money out I wait eagerly for my advice to be dispensed, wondering if maybe the machine will suggest that I start going to the gym, drink less, or get out more.

But no, for some reason it’s always just my balance and the last four digits of my account number. I think I’ll stick to fortune cookies.