The world's local bank is living up to its slogan.
HSBC, in its infinite wisdom, has unceremoniously dropped the 'Plus' network from its new microchip ATM cards, and replaced it with mainland China's UnionPay network.
Now Hong Kong residents are finding it difficult if not impossible to use their cards to access funds when travelling. Even if they manage to locate an ATM that offers UnionPay, most machines haven't been updated to accept the chip card and therefore refuse to accept it.
Complaints are legion. One fellow said:
Since the issuing of new cards, I have been in London, Istanbul, Tokyo, Morocco, Vancouver, Vienna and Paris.
I had no joy getting cash in any of them. It always said card error, card invalid, or simply spit the card back out with no explanation.
And HSBC isn't the only culprit; other major institutions have adopted UnionPay as well, which means there's no point switching banks because everyone's in the same boat.
UnionPay was created in 2002 under direction of the People's Bank of China. HSBC claims it chose UnionPay "for security reasons" but some folks claim it's a conspiracy that gives China control over people's bank accounts. Whatever the case, people are pissed off and there's little they can do except complain, not that the bank will change its policy because as usual it has nothing but love for its shareholders and nothing but contempt for its customers.
By forcing this change, HSBC has literally become a local bank: if you live in the Big Lychee and want your cash, you'd better get it before you take off.
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About · 關於
Big White Guy is the personal web site of Randall van der Woning, who hails from Canada but has lived in Hong Kong with his wife Mabel for the past 14 years. Randall is a photographer, photography teacher, and writer.
Seriously ... Big White Guy? The nickname was given in Canada but was shortened to BWG, because this wouldn't be the Internet if we didn't initialise everything.
Warm & Fuzzy · 稱讚
"Some of the most accurate and insightful info on Hong Kongers and the Chinese has come to me from your window on the world. "