Lost ATM card in Indonesia (aka The Indonesian Way)

About three months ago I rather stupidly lost my BNI ATM card.

I immediately had it cancelled of course, and then went into my local BNI branch to get a new one made. But I never did though – the girl said I had to get a letter from the police – so since then I have been withdrawing my cash by going to the teller instead.

But this week a bombshell hits: Bank Indonesia has just come out with a new regulation requiring bank customers to show their ATM card when making a withdrawal at the cashier or when making any other type of transaction - even including the transfer of money to another account!

Me: I’d like to withdraw Rp5 million please.
Teller: Can you show me your ATM card?
Me: I don’t have one. But here’s my proof of ID (showing her my passport)
Teller: I need to see your ATM card.
Me: I’ve lost it.
Teller: You can make a new one.
Me: Ok. Fine.
Teller: To make a new one, we will need a letter from the police.
Me: But I don’t want to go to the police. I’ll waste half a day. Even more. Can’t I just make a new one anyway?
Teller: We need the letter from the police.
Me: Do we? Why?
Teller: It’s the regulation.
Me: Look can’t I just withdraw my money. It’s MY money! MY money!
Teller: You need to show us your ATM card.
Me: (thinks) Ok. I’ll close down my account and open a new one. That’ll be quicker and less painless than a visit to the police. I can do that can’t I?
Teller: Looks at me, says nothing.
Me: Or perhaps I could close the account and take the money to ANOTHER bank.
Teller: Says nothing.
Me: Look. Okay. Let me think about it. I’ll come back tomorrow.

So the next day (Wednesday) I go back, walk up to the customer service desk where a young lady is sitting.

Me: Hello. Selamat Siang. I’ve damaged my BNI ATM card and I threw it away by mistake. I’d like to make a new card please.
Teller: Of course. Please sit down and fill in the form…


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