Shenaigans of Pakistani banks and their “requirements”

I had the misfortune of needing a pay order today for a personal matter. I drove to the Silkbank branch nearest to my home and after the security guard checked me from “top to bottom” with his metal scanner I proceeded inside. The lady at the counter was very obliging and handed me the pay order form which I duly filled out. I stood in front of the counter to hand over my form and cash to the girl inside when she politely asked me to step back and get a counter slip from the contraption behind me. Now, I looked around and saw that there was no living soul besides me at that counter and asked her to take the money but she was adamant that I take the slip and wait till my number comes on the screen. I did as she told and waited patiently for my number to come onto the screen which by the way took 3 minutes as some how the machine showed two numbers before mine.

I then handed the amount and the pay order form to her. She asked for my NIC. Even though that was out of the norm I thanked God that I had my NIC and promptly handed over to her. After viewing it she asked me to provide her a copy of it. I didn’t have one and told her so. She said that she wanted a copy of that card otherwise she could not help me. I told her that the bank had a photocopy machine and she could make a copy from it. At that she told me that is was broken.

There was an eerie silence after that last line as I looked at her and she looked back. When she didn’t budge from her seat I told her that I was in a hurry and needed this done quickly at which she returned the card to me and said sorry. I inquired whether this was a State Bank of Pakistan requirement. She replied in the negative and said that this was the bank’s rule.

That was a rubbish reason and I told her that as well and stormed out of the bank. The type of rules they have would make it more difficult for a person to get his job done rather than the other way around.

I then drove to the Soneri bank which was opposite to the Silkbank. he security guard checked me there as well. I went inside. There was no customer service lady there to guide me and after looking around I found where the pay order forms were placed. I took one and filled it. I then went to the counter and provided the form to the lady at the counter. She looked at it and said that the pay order limit on cash was only Rs.25000 and as my amount was a bit higher she could not proceed with my request. I asked her whether this was a requirement from the State Bank of Pakistan and she replied in the negative and said that this was “our bank’s requirement”.

This had become very frustrating and I some how managed to control myself at that time and come back home. I didn’t have the time and courage to go to another bank and listen to the requirements of another bank.

I had wasted nearly 90 minutes in all of this and I gained nothing.

What gives?