I wrote this piece in 2010 just as Sunday banking was being introduced, and at the time I was against it, and I still somewhat am against it, but that is mostly because I try not to go into my local branch (if I can help it), but if there are folks who want to work on Sunday, I suppose it is OK.
TD Canada Trust announced that they will be opening some of their Bank Branches on Sundays from Noon until 4:00 PM, for our convenience. Evidently they have been spurred by news that CIBC was going to open some of their branches on Sundays, which begs the question, Why would I want to Bank on Sunday?
I realize that many folks don’t get a chance to get to their banks during the week or even on a Saturday, but is opening on a Sunday really that important a service to offer as a bank? Will this cause a sudden rash of Impulse Banking (there is an expression you never thought you’d see).
My assumption is that bank transactions will still not be processed until the next business day (as is the current rules of banking), but now that banks are open every day of the week, maybe the term Next Business Day is a misnomer, in fact most transactions will be processed on the next Weekday that the bank should be open on (i.e. not a holiday). So if you walked into a bank and did something on a Sunday it would be the same thing as on Saturday, it really wouldn’t happen until the following Monday (assuming that is not a holiday).
ATM Machines are present at pretty much every bank branch that I have been to, and most folks avail themselves of this service on Sundays currently, but now with this new service they can talk to tellers directly. I must admit I do like making larger deposits at a Teller’s Window, it just makes it feel less risky (yes, I am paranoid about computers and automated systems, it is the nature of my generation).
As I have said previously (many times) I do most of my banking on line and rarely (except on some extenuating circumstances) if ever go into my local branch, other than to use the ATM machine. I pay my bills on line, I transfer funds on line and I order cheques on line (for $40!!! but that is for another post), so going to my local branch isn’t that important.
My guess is that this Sunday opening at some of the Branches is mostly for things like Mortgage Negotiations, Loan and Credit Discussions and maybe RESP Cashing (Ooops, sorry about that, I promised I was going to not talk about that any more). Some banks have even opened on Sundays already during peak RRSP season, to ensure we all have a chance to get our savings in place (Impulse Retirement Planning?).
Is Sunday banking really needed?
I really don’t understand the importance of opening on a Sunday, if you already open a Saturday, but I am also from a generation where Sunday shopping was not legal for a long time, so maybe I am just old and don’t comprehend the importance of having access to a bank on a Sunday. I am willing to open the floor to discussion about whether this new service is needed or not, but I do pity the folks at the bank who must now work on Sundays.