Today I went to the branch of the German Postal Savings Bank, called “Postbank” in German. My first bank account was with them. It was opened by my grandparents for me, when I was a child. It came with a little book, in which all my savings were tidily recorded and each booking was sealed with a stamp and signature. I have stayed with the Postbank for nearly 50 years. I paid my driving license from these childhood savings, then I deposited what was left of my slim Army payments there, and this helped me during my first year at University. Once, I was even allowed a little overdraft for a few weeks to purchase my textbooks for the new semester. They somehow did not charge me any interest, and I think it was one of the people in the post office who turned a blind eye on it. Thanks for that. I don’t forget these things.
Now, I will not leave the Postbank, but I went to the branch to say farewell to its people: shook hands, hugged the little fat one who will retire soon, and wished the younger ones all the best for their future. They were never really competent and sometimes they even made me angry. But hey, nobody is perfect. It’s okay. Best wishes.
Now, the robots are coming. Let’s see how perfect they will be. From November my experience at Postbank will look differently. I received a letter, which I nearly regarded as advertisement and wanted to throw it away unseen. But then it turned out that if I don’t change to a pure “online account”, I will be charged a quite handsome fee. No matter how much money I have deposited with them. No matter how good my good credit rating is. And it also does not matter how long I have been banking with them. Soon the robots will take care of my little household transactions, and I will never ever have to go to a Postbank branch again. That’s fine. I am a “tech guy” and I speak their language.