Nowadays most people do their banking online, switching funds between accounts and paying bills with the click of a button or a tap on a screen, but pressure group ‘Obasans Against the Internet’ are trying to turn the tide.
“My teenage children keep encouraging me to embrace online banking, and have repeatedly pushed me to pay the electricity bill or do our shopping online, but I’m not having any of it,” said Mai Nishida, chairwoman of OAI. “I just don’t trust the Internet and nor should anyone else.”
Rather than using the convenience of banking applications on smartphones or banking websites, Nishida and her group prefer to stand at ATMs withdrawing funds from one account, transferring it into another, and then repeating the process endlessly, much to the chagrin of others who may be in the queue behind them who just want to withdraw a few thousand yen to go and buy something to eat.
“I feel absolutely no shame,” says OAI member Kana Nagata about the grumbles and complaints she hears from other banking customers as she spends 45 minutes shuffling money between her seven different accounts in order to pay one ¥3,561 bill to the water company. “If they love the Internet so much, then maybe they can withdraw their money from their computer? Admittedly I don’t know how that would work, but if they can’t do it, then they are going to have to bloody well wait.”
“My husband tells me that I am not allowed to use the computer,” said Nana Kato who once spent two and a half hours at an ATM while she transferred money between her 96 different accounts before she realised that she had left the ¥1,430 bill to the NHK that she had planned on paying at home.
“He told me that he once tried to use Internet banking, but there must have been a virus on the site because it meant that every time we turned it on the search history was full of websites like ‘bigtittedbitches.com’ and ‘shelikesitgaping.po’. Since then I haven’t turned it on, and he assures me that neither has he.
Natsuho Funahashi, has decided to take it even further. “I don’t even trust banks, so I used to keep all of my ¥3billion savings in shoeboxes under my bed for safety,” she said.
“Unfortunately it has all gone now after my son, with whom I haven’t spoken in 25 years, called me to say that he was in trouble and I had to hand over my savings to a friend of his. If I had been using a bank, I wouldn’t’ have been able to do that, so it’s pretty lucky I could help him really!”