In China, Cash Carries the Weight – Ariana Eunjung Cha
The Washington Post looks at the failure of China’s banks – and consumers – to adapt to the use of credit cards and other retail banking conveniences:
Although China has made strides in reforming its banking system over the past five years — cracking down on corruption, buying out many troubled loans and allowing foreign banks into the market — retail banking remains stuck in an earlier era. The problem isn’t new, but the number of people in China who have enough money to need modern banking services is soaring. The system hasn’t kept up.
Many employees’ salaries are still distributed in fat envelopes of cash rather than by check or direct deposit. It’s not unusual for life’s major purchases, such as cars or even houses, to be paid for in cash. [Full text]