This is how computers should work

by Eric M. Burke

My new computer arrived. My neighbor signed for it at 1:05 PM this afternoon. UPS package tracking on the web is the quintessential example of a useful, well-written application.

I want the people who wrote the UPS package tracking application to go work for my bank. I want them to figure out why I have to wait 3 days for purchases made using my debit card before they show up in Quicken.


2003-08-20 13:53:27
Posted transactions
Because sometimes it takes that long for the transaction to be posted to the bank. Check your statement sometime. You should see two different dates on debit card transactions: one is the date of the actual transaction, and the other is the posting date.
2003-08-20 17:50:34
Uh, well, I gotta ask...
....what type of computer?
2003-08-20 17:59:44
Oh, and re the transactions posting...
....there are two parts of most credit/debit card transactions - an "authorization" which validates the card and that you have enough credit (or funds, in the debit card case) available and then a 'settlement' transaction when the money is to be moved. The settlement transaction can take place up to seven days after the authorization. And there are rules (I don't remember the specifics) that that prohibit the merchant from settling before they ship the goods. And while authorizations are done real-time, settlement is done via batch, which introduces further delays. A transaction settling today, for example, won't be accessible via online account statements, until tomorrow.

I'm not defending the process - just trying to explain how it works!

2003-08-21 07:00:41
What type of computer
A sub-$400 Gateway PC. It's a low-end server that I'll be using as a print server, CVS server, file backup server, etc. I also picked up a copy of Red Hat Linux 9 and will give that a spin.
2003-08-21 13:29:48
Setting your sights too low.
I want almost instant confirmation of every transaction on my account on my wireless device. Forget the bank, the POS (gas station, market, amazon) system should notify me, or write it too my card.

All transactions done at the bank branch would also instantly noftify. This would also reduce fraud.

The current banking system is so archaic. Most people wouldn't believe how the chack processing system works (or doesn't).

2003-08-21 13:53:28
Dude, got Linux!
Sorry for the post on your earlier weblog; you'd said specifically you weren't going to buy another machine. Seems you needed the new box anyway. Enjoy.
2003-09-24 11:39:19
I never said that!
2003-11-20 07:11:59
What type of computer