... once upon a time ... a long long time ago ...

Small satchets of happenings from pockets of my life, as lapses of memories rewind to the particular place, moment and time ... realities of life
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Banking was Manual (Cash Cheques)

In order to gain more operational banking experiences; and after hearing the interesting branch banking life, I requested for a transfer to a branch. In April 1977, I was transferred to Malayan Banking Sea Park Branch. Being one of the busy branches, there was a daily hive of counter activities. It was always crowded, especially at month end when pay cheques were cashed. I was assigned the very basic counter task - handing out token number to customers who wishes to cash cheques.

The cash room was enclosed secured by grilles and all-the-time locked. There are a few cashiers supervised by the Chief Cashier who controls all the money in the Cash Room. Cashing a cheque is an adventure. At the Current Account counter you are issued a token (number). The cheque will then be posted to the particular account holder's Current Account ledger using the 'large' NCR machine. When posted, it will then be given to the officer for authorisation; depending on the amount cashed and authorised according to the amount on the cheques. Larger amount may require more than 1 officer's authorisation (depending then on his/her ranking). The posted and authorised cheque will then be sent to the Cash Room for payment. The cashier will call out the token number assigned to the cheque earlier. The person cashing the cheque will then go over to the Cash Room counter to pick up the cash.

At the end of the day, the cashier will balance all his cashier and hand it over to the Chief Cashier who will balance all the cash for the branch. Cash are kept in the 'strong room'; entering it will require 2 separate keys and 2 separate combination on the safe, managed by a minimum of 3 officers. As the branch is one of the busiest branch with lots of cash activities, closing for the day would normally extend beyond 5:00 pm. Going back home very late, depending on what you handle, is the norm for bankers at that time.

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