Paper forms, signature cards and the resulting hand cramp

RETRO-BANK-TELLER-005These days when someone asks me to fill out a physical paper form, it feels a little strange.

I am used to doing everything online and believe that it is the most efficient way to do things.

But recently, I had to open a bank account in a Singaporean bank. With this bank, account openings are performed at a bank branch and requires filling out a series of forms. My initial thought was, “This can’t be that bad.

However, I wouldn’t be writing this article if it “wasn’t that bad.”

My first issue is that my writing hand is not used to operating a pen anymore. So by the time I got to the 2nd page, my hand was cramping. But that was only the beginning of my problems.

After filling out the forms, had to wait on a line for about 20 minutes. Once I got to the teller, she told me that I filled out the wrong form. No worries. She gave me the correct one and assisted me in filling in the blanks.

Afterwards, I waited while she transcribed what I wrote into the computer.

Next came the signature form. She asked me to sign my name in 5 different places. Not used to all that signing: some of my signatures didn’t look the same, so I was asked to sign again. Second time wasn’t much better. Signed again. Third time was the charm.

Then she asked me if I wanted “internet banking“. You know me, I’m all about the internet.

But the bank sure doesn’t make it easy.

Another form needed to be filled out. You’d think the bank had all my information in the system, so it should be just ticking off a checkbox, right?

Signed a few more documents. Was told that a security dongle would be mailed to me and with that I’ll be able to do all my banking transactions online. Happy. Or so I thought.

A week later, I received the security dongle, followed the instructions, and logged-in. After some use, I realized I could not make e-payments or send e-checks. Called up support and was informed that I did not have the proper authorization to perform any banking transactions. What?

Turns out that when I signed up for internet banking I filled out the wrong form. To rectify this issue and get all the basic internet banking functionality, I had to fill out another form and drop it off at the bank …

Aye caramba; my patience was wearing thin.

I downloaded a form. Filled it out. Went to the bank. Stood on line. Submitted the form to a teller.

The teller keyed in all my info. Printed out another signature form. Took me only two tries this time before they accepted my signature as authentic.

The teller had seen me a few times already and thanked me for my patience. When it was all done, she asked me if I needed anything else.

I said, “oh yeah, I didn’t get an ATM card. When will it arrive?

The teller checks her computer then tells me, “You didn’t ask for one. You need to fill out the form requesting for one.”


Published by Jonathan E. Chua

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