Banking Using GameStop

Jason Kottke writes that an anonymous 4chan user has come up with a scheme to use video game retailer GameStop as a bank:

Does anyone else use Gamestop as a bank?

I got really pissed off with US Bank because I kept overdrafting my account even though I opted out, and the same thing happened with my credit union when I got a debit card.

Now whenever I get paid I go preorder a whole shitload of games. Whenever I need money, I go to the nearest gamestop and ask for my money back on a game I don’t want and make a withdrawal. The lines are shorter at gamestop than at the bank and I can trade in old games and have money go straight to my savings account. Gamestops are just as prevalent as banks in my town and I work at a mall so it’s even more convenient than running an errand to the bank or using an ATM and getting charged.

There are a lot of reasons why you should not do this. For one, as Bloomberg Businessweek points out, GameStops are not FDIC-insured, meaning if the company goes out of business there’s no guarantee a customer would get her money back. Other obvious problems: You could only take out money during store hours, and if you write a rent check you’ll still need a regular bank to process it. Plus, it’s just really weird for you to use a video game store as your bank.

Photo: Stephan Mosel

The Tanda System

He explained: You get a group of people together, with one person as the head, the organizer—for the ones he was in, it was the head chef of the restaurant where he worked. Say you have 10 people. You put the numbers one through 10 in a raffle, have everyone draw a number; each number represents a week. When your number comes up, when it’s your week, everyone pays you a set amount of money, $100, say. The other weeks, you pay $100 to the designated person. You take turns receiving the money, and when you’re not on the receiving end, you’re paying in.