Bank transfers and account name checking

I’ve been making electronic transfers from my bank account for years and never had any trouble with them – just plug in the account name, number and BSB code into the form, and a few days later, the money arrives in the destination account.

Window washers descend the NAB Building

I recently switched banks and unfortunately for me, a bank transfer failed – the money left my account but didn’t arrive at the destination account – but thankfully it bounced back a few days later! I verified the account number and BSB code I used with the destination bank, who said that it was all correct, but they flagged one possible issue – the account name.

Normally the account name isn’t something I worry about – I don’t always use my middle name, so my account names are all different, yet the bank usually manages to get my money to where it should go. However, it looks like my new bank is a bit more pedantic than my old one, as this thread on the Whirlpool forums suggests:

In a previous thread it was mentioned that ‘big banks’ do not cross reference account names and account numbers, and thus only a BSB and account number will suffice for transfers to go through. It was said credit unions/smaller institutions do manually cross reference account names / account numbers and therefore account names are required.

On further investigation I realised that I entered a dummy name for the bank transfer which failed – problem solved!

The Financial Ombudsman Service has more to say on account names matching when processing electronic transfers, in this document dated September 2003 (my emphasis):

Internet banking screens for online payments commonly require the name, and account number (including the
BSB) of the intended recipient’s account to be keyed in. Traditionally, the account name has been treated as part of the payment instructions on, for example, a deposit slip and the account name has always been an important part of the instructions for payment of a cheque. Payers often assume that the name and account number for a deposit will be checked against each other before the funds are credited to the payee’s account. In practice we know that an electronic transfer is processed solely on the basis of the account number.

This has the effect that, if the payer keys in the wrong account number the payment will be made but to the holder of the account number that has been keyed in. The mistake may only come to light when the intended recipient tells the payer that the payment has not been received. When the payer tries to find out where the payment has actually gone, he or she may be told that the recipient’s name cannot be released for reasons of confidentiality. Their bank may claim that it acted on the basis of the instructions it was given, that is, the account number.

The Ombudsman Service goes on to detail how the Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS) rules apply to online transfers, and account name matches – it gets complicated very quickly in regards to which bank is responsible for bank transfers misrouted due to account number / name mismatches.

So the moral of the story seems to be don’t fat finger the account numbers of transfers to big banks, as they might send the money to the wrong person – and pay attention to the account names for transfers to small banks, as they actually pay attention to the small details!

When the sun sets over Carlton

To steal a line from the Skyhooks, there is a lot to see when the sun sets over Carlton.

1960s concrete Housing Commission towers.

Housing Commission of Victoria apartment towers

Jeff Kennett’s legacy in the Melbourne Museum ‘blade’.

Central 'blade' at the Melbourne Museum

The dome of the Royal Exhibition Building.

Royal Exhibition Building towers over Carlton

ICI House and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Orica House and St Patrick's Cathedral

The east end of the CBD.

East end of the Melbourne CBD

And finally, the west end.

Sunset on the north end of the Melbourne CBD


All of the above photos were taken from atop the former Royal Women’s Hospital car park at the corner of Grattan and Cardigan Streets.

‘I recognise that’ in a TV advertisement

I was watching television the other night when one of the insipid ‘I bought a Jeep’ advertisements came on. If anything, the commercials make me think of Jeep owners as wankers, but I did notice one interesting thing…

And that thing was the filming location at the 21 second mark, where there is a tail view of the car driving along the coast.

Yep – by the water in Geelong, with the car driving along Hearne Parade with Corio Bay in the background.

Hearne Parade, Geelong, Victoria - via Google Streetview

Skip forward to another day, and another ‘I bought a Jeep’ commercial, with another familar looking location.

This time it is a car driving over a bridge at the 24 second mark, followed by a parting shot of the same bridge.

Again the footage is from Geelong, but in a much more remote location –
Blackgate Road in Connewarre, with the bridge crossing over Thompson Creek.

Blackgate Road, Connewarre, Victoria - via Google Streetview

You can take the boy out of Geelong, but you can’t take Geelong out of the boy!

‘Something, Say Something’ at Flagstaff station

A week or two ago, Flagstaff station was blanketed in yellow posters reading “If You See Something, Say Something”.

'If you see something, say something' scaremongering blankets Flagstaff station

It is part of a Victorian Government scaremongering campaign, which was launched after the national terrorism alert level was raised to “high” last month.

'If you see something, say something' scaremongering along the escalators at Flagstaff station

As a regular reader of my blog, you should know that that seeing ‘something’ is what I do best.

'If you see something, say something' scaremongering blankets Flagstaff station

In this case, the thing I saw was a low bluestone platform on the edge of Flagstaff Gardens, next door to Flagstaff station.

Upper level of the Flagstaff Gardens draft relief shaft

So what can I say about it? It is actually a ventilation structure for the City Loop, with a vertical shaft ending about 13 metres below the surface, where another tunnel heads sideways towards the underground draught relief structure.

Fine welded mesh covers the top of the draft relief shaft


The access hatch into the ventilation structure is both locked and fitted with an alarm – you didn’t think something like this would be just laying around unsecured, would you?

As for the cost of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign:

Final costs for the campaign are not expected to be available until next year’s annual department report.

Motorail – loading cars onto a train

‘Motorail’ is a service provided on a handful of long distance trains in Australia, allowing passengers to bring their car along for the ride. So how do they get the cars on and off the train?

Great Southern Rail

Great Southern Rail offers a motorail service on all three of their services – Indian Pacific, The Ghan, and The Overland.

Their wagons have enough room to fit eight small cars aboard, split across two decks.

Motorail wagon AMRZ 240B with four cars

Loading and unloading cars takes a lot of messing around at each end – the wagons needs to be uncoupled from the rest of the train.

Shunting the wagon into the dock

Then pushed up against the unloading ramp.

Getting ready to unload the car

The car is then driven down the ramp…

Driving down the ramp...

And away for the owner to pick up.

And away

Queensland Rail

Queensland Rail also offers motorail service on their long distance locomotive-hauled services. However their car carrying wagons blend into the rest of the train.

Tail end of the train during the station stop at Townsville

Each wagon has a pair of doors on the side. The top ‘gull wing’ door opens upwards.

First stage of unloading cars is opening the roof door

While the lower door moves downwards to form a ramp.

Next the lower door is lowered to form a ramp

With the wagon parked right beside the passenger platform, there is no need for any shunting moves.

Motorail wagon open and ready for the cars to be driven off

Allowing cars to be driven straight off the train.

Driving a car off the motorail wagon and onto the platform at Cairns

Note that the above Queensland Rail example is from the Sunlander service – come December 31, 2014 the sleeping train service will be replaced by the slightly faster Tilt Train, which has aircraft style lie-flat beds.