I am in the process of switching banks, which after eighteen years is quite the uphill climb – seems that checking account has its autopay tentacles into every aspect of our lives. Anyway, our new bank offers an internet service called deposit@home, by which I can use my home scanner to scan checks for deposit. (If I had a smart phone, I could use that.) So yesterday I did this for the first time. It was pretty time-consuming — our scanner is a dinosaur — but impressive all the same. I didn’t even have to open the scanner software. The applet detected my scanner, and pictures of the checks I was depositing appeared on the computer screen. I boxed them in with a crosshatch thing and hit Submit, and the software congratulated me, credited the funds immediately, and told me I should now void the checks and dispose of them. (Haven’t been able to bring myself to do that just yet. Way too weird.)
This is what really fascinated me: here we have technology contorting itself into knots to accommodate bits of paper that, and please correct me if I’m wrong, are virtually unchanged from 1911, or 1811 if it comes to that. “Pay to the Order of… “ conjures musty British visions of some younger son forging his pater’s name and being sent down from Oxford, or, you know, those stuffy guys in Mary Poppins who sing that clever song with all the adverbs, about investing tuppence.
Two of the checks were handwritten ones from friends, reimbursing us for expenses associated with Mardi Gras, which adds to the wonderfulness. One was a $5 rebate from one of those newfangled squirting floor mops – the cost of processing this rebate has almost certainly exceeded $5, which also adds to the wonderfulness.
All hail the 21st century!