an entire bullshit industry built around processing payment transactions between two parties that exists solely because the financial institutions that already do this work, namely banks and credit unions, continue to use the oldest, least capable systems for handling bank transfers possible while they turn around and underwrite the IPOs of these shit companies. fucking rackets everywhere. and I cannot stand tennis goddammit!
y'know how oauth lets you go to a site, say "yeah, my auth info is handled by foo dot org" and then it hands you off to foo dot org to get authed and bring back a token proving you're you that the original site can verify from their end by asking foo dot org about it?
that could be banking, but the banks don't want you to have things that easy. far too few opportunities for them to extract monies from the transactions if it's smooth sailing.
@djsundog Well there’s “old banking” and “new banking”. Old banking doesn’t care about your experience on their web site. New banking needs to monetize everything about your experience on their web site because they’re not a real bank, just a middleman.
@freakazoid I used to shrug it off when I thought it was genuinely just incompetence, but once I realized it was both malicious and intentional it has never been less than a major irritant since. can't stand our banking system.
@djsundog I've actually really been wanting to see somebody make an open source distributed banking network or something. Fedibanking, so to speak. :/
@djsundog @Angle This might be a way to nationalize consumer banking: the central bank provides the actual accounting backend along with all the actual currency management, while the various “instances” just provide the UI and other services on top of it.
Actually storing balances and recording transactions is a pretty hard problem, not to mention issuing currency or storing a commodity in a trustworthy/secure manner.
@djsundog @freakazoid @Angle if you wanted to build a system that would survive, instead of one you could pump for quick profit and bail out of before it crashed, it would be. That is not an incentive in a capitalist society unfortunately, and the money you can make (often literally) by exploiting the financial system is so titanic that you can prevent reform from getting anywhere
@robotcarsley @djsundog @Angle It used to be that banks were allowed to fail, and they weren't so interlinked that they would take one another down. The US's quirky system made banks more unstable than necessary, because branching was quite limited, which meant their holdings weren't particularly diverse. Many states also required banks to hold a certain amount of their assets in the state's bonds, and strangely these states also tended to be the ones that defaulted the most.
@robotcarsley @djsundog @Angle The banks whined to the government that elderly people were losing their savings because of the banks' own bad investments, so the government created a banking cartel called the Federal Reserve and delegated its own minting power to that cartel.
What I'd like to see is a strict separation between public and private, like we have between church and state. Get rid of the FDIC and the Fed, and allow only the government to provide government-backed banking services.
@robotcarsley @djsundog @Angle It seems like the biggest problems with the American system come from the ability of powerful investors to get the government to socialize their losses while still keeping gains private. This encourages the creation of (at least apparent) systemic risk whenever possible in order to maximize the likelihood of bailouts. We need a system in which investors can have high confidence that no bailouts will be forthcoming.
@robotcarsley @djsundog @Angle Most anti-capitalists see the privatization of gains as the problem, but for some reason they seem to consider the socialization of losses to be inevitable. If we had a system in which people were always taken care of, we wouldn't have to care how much anyone lost gambling in the market, because we were already making sure they wouldn't starve, become homeless, or go without health care.
@robotcarsley @djsundog @Angle I agree that the problem is the more general issue of externalizing costs. But greed exists regardless of the economic or political system. I think we're all better off, including the wealthiest, where there is a high level of economic mobility, and healthy competition all the way up.
There are super simple tweaks we can make that will stop companies from growing so much, like (in the US) taxing capital gains the same as regular income.
@djsundog Plus, that would require them to actually do something. It takes money to make money, but you aren't making money if you're spending it on improved customer experience!
@djsundog For what it's worth, I have it on good authority from colleagues who have had the (ahem) pleasure of working with banks and their systems that the interoperability problems are less "we want to extract money" and more "bank transfers are FTPSing over a poorly-formatted CSV nightly because that's what the System/360 behind everything generates/expects".
@djsundog Arguably things are getting better in this regard, see faster FedWire clearance rates that are racheting up, and so on, but it's still not where we'd like. (Then again, Europe has requirements for, say, interoperability of getting data from your bank, but it's nigh-unusable anyway because everyone's implementation is different and often incomplete. So there's a way to go everywhere.)
@aschmitz I mean yeah, that's for sure a root cause, but there have to be reasons they haven't invested any of their enormous industry-wide profits over the last twenty years in a replacement for the decrepit clearinghouse systems behind all this shittery
@djsundog Yeah, that's fair too, but the answer over the past few decades has been that in practice nobody has been asking them to, and there wasn't a good way to get account information around. (And of course the check system allows anyone with your account number to take as much money from you as they want, so you either have to give everyone two account numbers or make accounts support checks xor easy payments.)
@djsundog To their vague credit, banks are getting around to it, kinda (see Zelle), but of course that's not evenly distributed yet and has a bunch of privacy-related flaws.
@djsundog Huh. Zelle itself doesn't charge fees to users, and none of the banks I've used charge fees, but it sounds like some might? 😠
@aschmitz yeah, it's another bit that's unevenly distributed - there are some pseudo-banks that offer it, but for a fee, or that offer similar things that are theirs and fee-based, and it gets worse the farther down the tiers of consumer banking and banking-like products available. I've got one account I can photo deposit a check and have access to it within three minutes for no fee; another account wants 1% of the face value of the check if I want access to the funds faster than three days. the long tail of squeezing those with the least to spare is kinda tradition at this point.
@djsundog in Iceland and Sweden there's no point in using PayPal within the country, because the banks work. Just ask for an account number instead of a PayPal email, no fees for domestic stuff. It's been like that for decades, as long as I've been doing bank stuff here. Imagine my surprise when I tried working in the supposedly high-tech Bay Area, and couldn't do that or get fibre or use electronic ID like in a little foresty village 20 years ago. 🤔
@owl imagine my surprise twenty years ago traveling to europe and finding out that other places let shit just work! I was aghast! how? how could this be possible?
@djsundog There is a publicly owned fibre network connecting every house in this city. I have heard that this is terrible and will prevent competition. But there's a bunch of ISPs offering different services on top of that network, paying back to the public for using the infra. Seems to work pretty well. Now if only more things could work like that… :/
@owl any time that happens here the government (spurred into action by the corporate lobbies) immediately mobilizes a strike force to pass the necessary laws to prevent it from being possible any more for as large a chunk of territory as they think they can get away with, and frankly, they underestimate themselves.
@djsundog I'm just waiting for some "free market" fundamentalists to ruin this as soon as they get enough power.
@djsundog here in Canada, the inter-bank network that handles debit payment transactions just decided to build a simple consumer money transfer system. https://www.interac.ca/en/consumers/products/interac-e-transfer/ and it can be used directly from the websites and mobile apps of most banks. In most cases for transfers from personal chequing accounts, no fees.
@carcinopithecus @kepstin the fastest, cheapest way for me to move money from one bank to another person's account at another bank is for me to write them a paper check and hand it to them so they can take a picture of the front and back of it and do a photo deposit into their account. they might not even get charged an additional fee for getting access to the funds faster than three days.
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