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The following guest post is courtesy of Paul Puey, CEO and Co-Founder at Bitcoin Edge Security Platform for Digital Assets Company Airbitz.
I sent a transfer the other day to a freelancer we work with in the amount of $250. My bank charged me $30 because it needed to be done the same day and then his bank charged an extra $15 for “incoming wire fee”. $50 to send $250. 20 percent.
Really?! We live in a world where I can step into a machine, fly through the air and be across the world in 12 hours. I can open a device and connect instantly with any of the three billion people connected across the world, yet when it comes to money we are severely limited.
You all know what I’m talking about. It’s those little fees you see at the bottom of your bank statement. Some are so small you shrug them off while others catch your attention, but at the end of the day you remind yourself “that’s just the way things are” and move on with your life.
The truth is, banks are ripping you off. Every day, all across the world, banks take advantage of their customers.
Let’s take a step back and look at a basic concept: Your money is leveraged 97% (in the US) so the bank can make money by loaning it out others and charging an interest rate. But that’s not enough, they then nickel and dime you for bank fees, every day, every week, every month.
Today, it costs money to have money. Read that again out loud and you can maybe grasp just how crazy of an idea that really is. The act of charging people fees who have no money in their account is a direct attack on those less advantaged so it’s no wonder nearly 43 million adults are underbanked.
So, let’s take a look at the bank fees.
- Monthly “account” fees. Hold an amount below a certain balance in your bank account? Yup, that will be $6 please. It makes sense that if you are broke enough to not have money in your account, you should definitely be charged some more.
- ATM “transaction” fees. Oh, wait, you wanted to access that money anywhere at any time? Sure, that’s fine but if you can’t find one of our ATM machines, you’ll have to pay $5 to the ATM you take it from and then we’ll have to bill you $2 for using an “unauthorized” ATM.
- Returned Deposit fee. So someone paid you with a bad check that bounced? That will be $35.00 please. You should know better than to accept payments!
- Early Cancellation fee. Cancel your account within 180 days? That will cost you $25 at some banks. Canceling this early means they haven’t had the chance yet to charge you as many fees as possible and for that, you will have to pay some sort of penalty.
- Wire Transfer fees. As mentioned earlier, these can range from $15 up to $50 depending on if it’s international or domestic. They charge you on both ends–sending and receiving. This is understandable however, it costs money to pay a carrier to fly all across the world with your money in a backpack and deposit it at the intended bank. This travel also explains why it takes so long. After all, it takes time to travel. If only there were a way to do things electronically and without cost, then, maybe these fees would go away!
- Cash deposit fee. At some banks, they charge you a “cash deposit” fee. This is a small amount based on the amount of cash actually deposited. The cash deposit fees are especially ludicrous considering banks need that cash since they don’t hold 100% of deposits in reserves. So by doing banks the favor of depositing the cash they need to give out for withdrawals you also get charged. Thanks, banks!
- Human Withdrawal fees. Oh wait, you wanted to actually speak with a human? Well, that will cost you too. Some major banks add on an extra $9 – $18 per month for a “Human Teller Fee”.
As you can see, that Free Checking account your bank baited you with initially likely isn’t as free as you might think. Banks nickel and dime you every chance they get and in the past they’ve gotten away with it because they have had zero competition. They’ve had a monopoly on money and people have had to resort to saying “that’s just the way things are”.
That is, until now. Banks now have some competition. It’s called Bitcoin. Bitcoin takes away the monopoly that banks have had for so long and puts the power in the hands of those who actually own the money. Bitcoin, if used properly, allows you to access your money anywhere in the world. You can send and receive transfers at practically no cost, no bank holidays or weekend closures, and no onerous fees.
Bitcoin gives you control of your money like you’ve never had before. If you’re tired of getting charged sneaky fees, arriving at the bank just after it closes, having to wait up to a week for checks to clear, and being delayed 3-5 business days (or more) to send or receive payments, take a serious look at Bitcoin. It will give you more freedom with your finances than you’ve ever known before.