Things That Make Me Wonder If The Chinese Will Actually Dominate World Business, Part 22
In much of the world, you walk up to a small storefront labelled "Currency Exchange" or "Cambio" or "$," hand the attendant US$100 and walk away with the rough equivalent in local currency. Whole process takes about 20 seconds.
In mainland China, you walk into a bank branch, obtain a counter ticket, wait until your ticket number is called, hand the teller US$100, hand her your passport, watch as the teller inputs data from your passport, watch as she makes a photocopy of your passport's identification page, watch as she scrutinizes your currency, watch as she inputs more data, sign three forms she prints out in Chinese and hands to you, and leave with the rough equivalent in Chinese RMB. Whole process takes about 9 minutes.