My words on free/open source software

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Choose a Linux-friendly Bank in China

At last I thought I should spend some time on finding a Linux-friendly bank. By Linux-friendly I meant that the e-Bank services should be able to achieved from a Linux machine running native browsers such as Firefox. I've been using China Merchant Bank for nearly 10 years and although generally good, their eBank services are designed around IE and ActiveX. What's more annoying is that their bank software could not be run within a virtual machine, alleged for the sake of better security, which shut all doors to run it on Linux.

I used eBank to manage loads of things such as utility payment, donations, credit card payment and investment management. So it's really a waste of time to reboot to MS WindowsTM to do them.

So finally I chose Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. It's eBank services are great with Firefox! Till now I'm happy with it. I've also applied for the credit card and hope to move all my credit card subscriptions to it gradually.

Now the only gray area for me is that my employer doesn't support to pay into SPDB. I'll keep complaining to my beloved HR manager. :)

N.B. HSBC is doing very well with Linux too. Who (I guess) has been running IBM's AIX and System z for a long time and is generally browser-independent.


Anthony Wong said...

You may have better luck with banks from Hong Kong. Since banks from Hong Kong, like HSBC as you mentioned, or Hang Seng Bank, can now conduct Renminbi business in China and may want to check them out and see if their service suits you. If their e-banking systems in China is the same as the ones they use in Hong Kong, then you'll have no problem for using their e-banking system in Linux. I've been using Hang Seng bank's e-banking system in Hong Kong for years and HSBC's for a few times, they work flawlessly under Linux.

Yan Li said...

Thank you Anthony! Yeah, I knew HSBC's e-bank system works very well in Linux. And it seems that HSBC's China branch is using the same system as that of the HK branch. But the problem of HSBC China is that currently they have only one type account, the HSBC Premier, which demands a relatively high average monthly balance (400,000 RMB). Though lower than that of HSBC HK, it's still a bit high for me.

I haven't tried Hang Seng yet.

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Santa Cruz, California, United States