Tuesday, January 15, 2019

it is accomplished

My Daegu Bank account is, at long last, no more. I went to the DGB branch in downtown Seoul, close to City Hall, last night in a desperate attempt to get to the ATM and transfer some funds to my Shinhan Bank account (I have rent that needs paying), but the security guard in the building where DGB is told me that I could access the ATM only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fuck the luck. So I went back this morning, arriving around 9:45 a.m. and deciding on the fly to do what I had originally planned: transfer my money to my Shinhan account and close my DGB account. The procedure involved filling out some forms and typing my passcode into a little keypad several times, but it was otherwise relatively painless. The only wrinkle: I had been paying my cell-phone bill through my DGB account (I had gotten both my DGB account and my cell phone while I was living in Daegu; this was back in 2013, at the beginning of the fall semester). By closing my DGB account, I would have to inform my cell provider, SK Telecom, that I was switching to a new billing account. I'll do that later today.

But we're not out of the woods yet. There's more housekeeping to do: tomorrow, I have to transfer money to the States, renew my $50,000-a-year international-transfer limit, and renew my cell phone's cell-banking electronic certificate. Koreans are big on these e-certificates, which play no role at all when you're doing internet banking in the States. My US-based PNC Bank account is accessible via internet, so all I need is a web browser on my phone. (I happen to have the PNC Bank app, but the level of convenience/inconvenience is about the same either way, app or browser.) All I had to do was go through an online registration procedure, create an ID and password, and voilà—access. In Korea, registering for cell-phone banking is a 90-minute process involving many, many forms and three—count 'em—different passwords, all of which you must memorize. On top of that, there's the e-certificate that must be installed on your cell phone for cell banking. The whole thing is cumbersome and ridiculous, but Koreans love-love-love their paperwork. I guess it imbues the proceedings with a feeling of seriousness. It's sad, too, because this is the reverse of how things are when you get contact lenses: in the US, it's a long, expensive, ridiculous procedure; in Korea, you basically walk in and walk out with new lenses in under fifteen minutes. Ah, well.

After tomorrow, then, most of the admin bullshit will be done until tax time rolls around soon. You can guess how much I'm looking forward to that.

UPDATE: this afternoon, I went to the SK Telecom office and switched the auto-debit over to my Shinhan account. With no DGB account to keep track of, this means I've now consolidated the Korean end of my finances. I still have my US bank account and my US credit card to be mindful of, but that's not a burden. At least I don't have to manage several accounts and several cards. God, what a pain that would be.

No comments: