HSBC and their Deposit Machine. A Cautionary Tale.

Don’t assume, as I did, that HSBC’s automatic deposit machine works.

Wanting to make a quick deposit, I arrived at the Gran Plaza HSBC branch and found it closed, so I thought I would make my first ever deposit at the machine that said ‘quick and easy’ just outside the locked gates of the bank.

Following the instructions, I typed in the amount I wanted to deposit and, having read at some point that the machine won’t give more than $50 pesos change, deposited a few large bills, leaving a difference of $20 pesos. Also, being my first time, I deposited each bill separately and then when the screen popped up asking if I want to deposit more, I added more. Total of three bills.

The final screen indicated that I had deposited an amount different from what I had initially indicated would be the amount. In answer to the machine’s question ‘continue or cancel’ I chose cancel.


A big red error message flashed onto the screen, saying the machine was out of order! No money, no deposit, no nothing. Then, to my relief, a ‘receipt’ was printed indicating the error. Something, at least. One of the tellers, just inside, told me to call the service number to report the incident and I spent the next 27 minutes (really) on the cell phone, pushing this number and that, in answer to all the options given to me by the recorded messages I was having to navigate through.

Finally a person came on who asked me my account number and name. Why they ask for the account number I don’t understand, since the recorded message already had asked for that info. He then transferred me to a second person, who asked me for my name and account number. The second person then transferred me to a third person who I could not understand as he sounded like he had stuck the microphone of his headset inside his mouth and it was extremely distorted. When I basically talked over him to ask for a better connection this third person then transferred me to a fourth person, who asked me… you guessed it… name and account number.

At least she apologized and gave me a security questions exam, which I apparently failed as she told me I needed to go to my branch and make the complaint there, because she couldn’t open my account info, seeing that I had failed the test.

The next day, I went to the nice young lady at the entrance and gave her my info and explained the case. She entered all the info and waited. Then, the ‘system’ went down and so, she was unable to complete the filing of my ‘aclaración’. She said to leave my info and she would do it later, when the ‘system’, that mysterious robotic world that has a mind of its own, came back online.

At home, I received an email that said my complaint had been registered.

Two days later, a text message came in saying that my complaint had been resolved and that I needed to go to the branch to see what happened.

At the bank, I talked to one of the ‘executives’ who looked at the case number and did a lot of mouse clicking on her computer while I watched and then said that the case had not been registered for some reason and that I needed to re-enter the information and file another complaint. Same questions, and this time the system cooperated and the complaint was apparently accepted. “It won’t take long,” she said, “they will check your claim against the money they find in the deposit machine and if there is a discrepancy and the information you have provided is corroborated, we will deposit the money into your account.”

Holding my breath and crossing my fingers, but 4 days after the machine swallowed my money I still don’t know if it still exists or if HSBC has absconded with it.

6 thoughts on “HSBC and their Deposit Machine. A Cautionary Tale.

  1. Good luck with that. When a Santander machine and then some years later a Banorte machine printed a receipt for the 5000 pesos I had “withdrawn” from my Canadian account but in fact had not received any such thing, I learned that this is not resolved at the local branch here (they apparently have “no way” of verifying how much cash was actually dispensed) but I had to contact my Canadian bank branch to file a claim. 60 days for the first event to be resolved (the 5000 pesos back in my Canadian account) and 90 days for the second…and I only got the second one resolved because I went to Condusef for help because Banorte told the Royal Bank of Canada that in fact they HAD dispensed my cash and I must be mistaken (!!!). Condusef forced them to print off the little tape inside the machine which proved I had not received the cash. The woman at Condusef said, and I quote: “todos los bancos de Mexico son una porqueria.” So as I say: good luck with that.

  2. I had a similar experience with an HSBC atm at Soriana. Alta Brisa. The machine greedily took my little card and even happily processed my withdrawal an printed a receipt while intermittently freezing and then saying it was reiniciando — kind of scary. Then it did just that — turned off and began rebooting, about 3-4 times and then turning off after about 20 minutes. Yep, my card was still in there.

  3. Having had overall dismal experiences with Mexican banks, I avoid like the plague any complicated or machine-assisted transaction. I would never, ever make a deposit at an ATM; the proof is gone once the $ money slips through the machine. It is far better to stand in line and wait for a live person to take your money and give you a receipt (that you will scrutinize carefully, of course). When cashing a check, make sure you count the money before you leave the ventanilla; mistakes have been known to happen there too. Also, when I make an ATM withdrawal, I try not to do it as part of a more complicated transaction; e.g. checking a balance, transfering $ from checking to savings etc. So far, so good, but there is just no full-proof method of ensuring that your banking experience will go off without a hitch. The best you can do is anticipate the potential problems and deal with them before they become actual problems.

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