Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Personal Banking with Kasikorn - better ask twice



As soon as we arrived in Thailand we went to a Kasikorn Bank to ope an account. We went for it mainly because we liked there ATMs, they have a higher withdrawal limit. Opening the account was a piece of cake, they didn't even ask for a work permit. Contract and passport of my wife were enough. To make sure that I as the spouse have access, we set it up as a joint account. BIG MISTAKE. The only advantage is that I got a Visa debit card. BUT: None of us can use cyber-banking, we cannot make standing orders, and every cheque must have both of our names (even my middle name) if we want to deposit it.

And then came another disappointment. I received a reimbursement cheque from Buffalo (they kept it actually for nearly a year until I picked it up). At the time they issued it, they had only my name from the credit card. So they wrote Thomas Wanhoff on the cheque, and issued it as a A/C payee only. BIG PROBLEM. That actually means that this cheque can only be deposited in a bank account under the name of Thomas Wanhoff. There is no way to get it into our joint account.

I went to three different branches, and at every branch I was told to open an account under my name. What is not possible, because I don't have a work permit. Then they said, I should come on the date mention on the cheque (that was today) and they can do a "quick cheque". But today, neither Kasikorn staff at Tesco Lotos nor at Paradise Park could remember this. No personal account, no deposit. I spent close to 400 baht for the taxis, just to be told the cheque will be not valid anymore after tomorrow.

They also blamed Buffalo for not changing the cheque (but Buffalo staff was already so helpful that it is too embarrassing for me to go there again). Okay, that's the Thai way, let the others solve the problem.

But there seems to be a problem in the work flow. Why the hell I can't deposit into a joint account? I actually wonder how Thailand made it to the money laundering list if personal banking is already so difficult.