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cog (4665)

Journal of cog (4665)

Thursday April 20, 2006
04:31 AM

ATMs in Portugal

[ #29387 ]

I recently realized that there's a lot of things you can do in a Portuguese ATM that you usually can't do in other countries.

In Portugal, I use an ATM to:

* widthraw money (duh)
* buy concert/shows tickets
* pay fines (not that I ever got one)
* buy train tickets
* pay my water/electricity/gas bills
* pay university fees
* pay the highway toll
* and a lot of other stuff :-)

And the cool thing about it is that most of these things I can do from home (or, rather, I could, if I had internet access, which I still haven't).

I thought of posting this here after hearing a guy in a conference say that Portugal was the most advanced country in Europe when it comes to electronic money :-)

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  • We have these Self Banking terminals where you can do practically any normal bank transaction. Kinda like home banking but not at home. Some banks offer some of the servies you mention. What's so special about the paying university fee feature? Isn't that just something like "transfer X euros to account Y"?
    • Technically, it's not a transfer, it's the payment of a service; it's the same process as paying the electricity bill, or cable TV, or the subscription of a magazine.

      Hey, it might not be fancy for you, but for people in other countries, it might be :-)
      • So it's not a transfer but you do transfer money? uhm I'm not following :)
        • You don't transfer the money to an account :-) You pay for a service, by using two ids. One of them gets the money to the proper account, indeed, while the other makes sure what you're paying for gets correctly identified :-)

          It's just a special case of a transfer, I guess, in which you don't get to know the bank account number of the entity collecting the money and where you make sure they know that *you* paid for *that* thing.

          Otherwise, how would they know who had paid which bills? :-) And don't tell me "b
          • Well, most bank transfer slips allow you to specify a comment. Some companies (like for instance, phone companies) send a preprinted transfer slip along with the bill, with a specific bill and customer number in the comment field. A computer will probably check that comment field.. If no comment is defined (or isn't valid), you can only hope it's handled manually. So uhm mmm there's technology for you :)
            • Yeah, I'm familiar with the concept... Not very handy when you try to do all this via Internet... You have to be extremely careful not to mistype any digits. I don't think there's a checksum digit in the string.

              And if you don't have to enter it manually yourself, but instead hand in the paper form in the bank, some bank clerk still has to enter it by hand. Here's hoping they're better typists than I am, but boy, I am sure there must be mistakes happening, on a regular basis.