I received an email from E*TRADE Hong Kong this morning, informing me about their Chinese New Year Customer Service Hours. Ironically, I have not get any formal reply from E*TRADE US about my application, which I sent 9 months ago. So, basically, I am in their database as one of their customer, but I did not get my account number and user ID.
Well, as it is still morning here in this part of the world, I decided to call E*TRADE Hong Kong to ask about my application. The customer service center answer my phone call, (which I use iTalk from TM) very professionally and prompt. I only manage to give him my full name and last 4 digit of my account (it was stated in the email), as he required that info to check whether I am one of their customer or not. It only took him less than 2 minutes to process my queries, and after answering few security questions (mostly my personal info), he gave me the account number, my user ID and password. Now I have a US bank account!
You may asked me why I need a US bank account? Well, to tell you the truth, US authority have a very strict rule on foreigners opening a bank account in US after the September 11 tragedy. It includes Malaysia, which is an unfortunate. Opening a US bank account is important for those who deals with internet marketing, i.e. handling international money around the internet. By having an account in US, it will be easy for us Malaysian to handle the money, as most giant companies in the net requires the internet marketer to have an account (like Paypal) to withdraw your ‘frozen money’.
If you are Malaysian, and search the net for US bank account to be open, you can found none. E*TRADE is the only financial institution in US that enable you to have one account, whereby you can use it to do a telegraphic transfer (TT) to your local banks. It is not a bank. We just use one of their finacial service to get the money keep before it is transfer it to our account.
I don’t know about you. I use E*TRADE as one of the tools for me to receive money from international travelers who would like to ask me to help them book a package or accommodation for their Mount Kinabalu adventure travel.
Are they reliable? Well, we have to see that. I guess…