I had only a few hundred peso bills left in my wallet so I decided to cash out the pay check my company had given me. It is not really a huge amount but just enough to sustain me through these critical wallet days. I knew I needed to go to the bank early, so that I no longer need to queue for hours. Thanks to my phone alarm (it finally worked with me this time), I was able to wake up 7:00 in the morning and finish all my daily itineraries earlier as usual. By 10:00 AM I was already wending my way to the bank. I preferred to walk, not for the sake of physical fitness, but because of cost-cutting. I arrived at the front door of the bank 10:15 AM.
“Excuse me. Where are the forms to be filled out?” I asked the security guard inside.
“Everything is automated now, Sir. Just please use our Automated Assistance Machine over there,” the guard politely answered, pointing to the ATM-looking machine just a few steps from where I stood.
I was actually impressed that the bank is now eliminating some of its paper works unlike most banks that still use traditional methods of business. At the same time, I was anxious using the machine because I didn’t know exactly how it worked. The feeling was comparable to how I felt when I first rode an elevator, and when I bought my first MRT ticket and used it on the entrance machine for the first time. But upon closer look, I noticed that operating the machine was just as easy as using my phone. It didn’t have any physical buttons; just a few options on the touchscreen for selection. I inspected the machine closer and noticed a slot just below the screen and thought that’s where a ticket might come out after completing the transaction.
It wasn’t really complicated after all. But I got only as far as one tap on the touchscreen. After choosing the option for “Deposit,” the machine asked me to enter my account number, and that was enough for me be pissed off for the rest of the day. Of course I have an account number; only I didn’t know it by heart. It would have helped if I brought my ATM card but what I had inside my mini bag were just my emergency medicines, my phone’s USB cord, UV shades, moisturizer and the check folded in half.