Italian banking

20140710-224805-82085717.jpgWe somewhat foolishly decided to get a credit card, given the inconvenience of having to physically go into the post office to top up our previous debit card. Actually, it wasn’t just the physical inconvenience. We’ve also had a couple of occurrences where holds have taken a while to clear or perhaps never cleared at all. So, new card time.

This card process has been all Matt, as I was the procurer of our original debit card (a much less torturous process with a post office teller, that was only interrupted by her leaving to answer a personal call on her cellphone, oh Italy) and he’s sitting here trying to make sense of all the paperwork as I type. Asides from being an ear for listening to some of the more foreign concepts of dealing with credit in Italy, I’ve mostly just been doing a little emailing.

So, after a mere seven signatures and a mini telephone interview in which Matt was asked if he was politically involved, hewas able to bring our shiny new card is now home.

And now for figuring out how to actually use the stupid thing. This is where I remember that our post office debit card was not so easy to set up. We spent long frustrated hours trying to create our online access, a process complicated by the seeming existence of two websites, and a text message authorisation that took three goes to come through. Plus, you know, trying to understand translated websites.

It appears that what at first promised to be a fee free card for a year actually has a niggly little €1.50 per month stamp tax on it. Charged for using your card for more than €70 a month and related to some law from 1995 when the Internet barely existed as anything in popular consciousness. Seriously!

Plus we have all the usual fun things like monthly limits, which will make it tricky when it comes time to book flights home, and an incomprehensible system where it appears that there is no way to put money onto this card ourselves, i.e. to use it like a debit card or to pay off any owing balance before the 15th of every month when this process happens automatically. Oh Italy.

Unrelated photos of a goat at the top.

**this post shouldn’t be interpreted as a whine, because it isn’t. It’s just a little observational complaining.

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