Friday, January 04, 2019

the forgotten card

I was startled, a day or so ago, when I attempted to use my Daegu Bank card to withdraw money from an ATM: the ATM's screen kept telling me there was an error, and even after switching to a different ATM, I got the same error message. After futilely trying to use the ATMs at a different bank, I finally looked down at my debit card—really looked at it—and noticed the expiration date on the card was "12/18," i.e., December 31, 2018. Mystery solved: my card was no longer valid. Time to get a new card.*

A Naver Maps search shows that there are only two Daegu Bank branches in Seoul. I know where one is: in the Euljiro neighborhood, not far from City Hall and the Myeongdong Lotte Hotel. I suppose I'll have to hit it Monday morning, and when I do, I'll request switching out the bank card for a debit card like the one I have from Shinhan Bank, which allows me to make in-store purchases as well as withdraw money from ATMs. I might think about getting internet banking as well, but that's a long process; come to think of it, it might actually be easier simply to close out the Daegu account since I'm not in Daegu anymore, and haven't been for years. I barely use the Daegu account for anything; the money that's in it normally just sits there, except for right now, because my recent $9000 transfer to the States has left my main account, the Shinhan one, nearly empty, thus forcing me to dip into my cash reserves and to rely on my credit card.

I got the Daegu Bank account back in 2013 when I left the US and moved to Hayang to work at Daegu Catholic University. It's been five years since then, which is plenty of time to forget that one's bank card even has an expiration date. Strangely enough, I'm keenly aware of the expiration dates on my Amazon Prime Visa credit card and my PNC Bank/Visa debit card; that's probably because I use these cards for online purchases quite often (on a bizarre impulse, I just ordered myself more MREs). I'm sure my Shinhan Bank debit card has an expiration date as well, but I can't use it for online transactions, so I never think about the issue.** This may be an opportunity to practice greater mindfulness.

*US banks usually snail-mail you a new card well before your current card expires. In my case, I moved back to Seoul from Daegu but never gave the bank an update of my changed address. It's conceivable that Daegu Bank did try mailing me a new card, but I imagine that the card went to the apartment I used to live in, in the town of Hayang-eup. If some confused tenant illegally opened that envelope, I guess he/she would now have a shiny-but-useless ATM card.

**Just looked. It's good until the end of February 2020.

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