UNITED STATES—The bank, it is a place that is all too common when it comes to doing business. Many of us are going to the bank to take out money or place money into our accounts. However, with the ever-evolving technology that we have I would think banking should be easier? I mean the great thing about the pandemic was seeing more bank’s role out their mobile apps.

Why? Well, it was not easy to go to the bank with COVID-19, so the introduction of mobile deposits came into play. I loved it and I still love it. If I don’t want to go to the bank to deposit a check, I can take a picture of the check on my phone and then deposit it directly into my bank account within 24 hours. With some banks, the funds are available within a few hours if not sooner. So that is an extra perk.

The one invention that is still troublesome is the ATM. For those not in the know, ATM refers to Automated Teller Machine. I think I have utilized an ATM machine 3 to 4 times in my entire lifetime. FYI, I have had credit cards since I was a college student. I just never liked using them because the amount you take out has to be a specific number, plus I HATE, and I say that with a passion, a $20 bill.

I feel like all ATMs disperse $20 bills and sometimes I don’t want a wad of 20s in my wallet. Also, I have realized you are so much quicker to spend a $20 bill than let’s say a $50 bill or a $100 bill. I just feel more conscious about what I have and what I spend when it comes to larger bills in my wallet compared to smaller bills. In addition, why is it the one time I have to go to the ATM, NONE OF THE BANKS have money in the machine! I just don’t understand that, but I feel like it is more a recurring event than it should be.

I know it’s not just me because I hear it from family and friends all the time about them going to the ATM and the machine is empty. You really cannot go into the bank because they’re closing earlier on the weekend, in particular on Fridays. I remember banks used to be open till at least 6:30 to 7 p.m. Not anymore, that has changed to 5 p.m.

We haven’t even gotten into the conversation of getting a loan because it seems so many banks don’t want to loan out money for homes, cars or other things to the consumer. You can have the money folding over and you still might not get a loan from your bank. Hell, the pandemic showed so many internal issues with banks, as people had money being deposited into their accounts for those stimulus checks and guess what, the banks were holding onto that money until they were ready to release it.

In addition, the Paycheck Protection Loans or PPP loans, which so many companies and Americans were getting funds for weren’t legit. Fraud was being committed left and right, and guess what, people were still getting that money, but the small businesses that applied for those loans and needed the funds, they were denied. C’mon, please make that make sense.

Someone recently said you shouldn’t leave money in a savings account, and I started to think, you’re right. Most banks give you little to nothing when it comes to interest on that money. So, it is just sitting. If anything, you should be investing that money to try to earn money, and not just allowing the bank to use it as they please. You’re better off placing your money in a safe in a ‘safe’ place in your home. Don’t allow the bank to charge you fees on your account because you didn’t adhere to the terms of having a certain ‘amount’ each month.

The amount of fees that some banks charge their patrons is just unacceptable and vicious at times it seems. Going to the bank should be an exciting experience, it should not be one that you dread, which I am seeing more and more, which raises the question as to what the banks are doing to improve the issue. Do they care and what are we doing as customers to force the banks to improve their customer service? The problem is we’re not doing anything, which is why the banks continue to function the way they function.