Joyous beats the heart in a travel coat, provided you have the means.” That was written in 1884 by Wilhelm Busch, the creator of Max and Moritz. It’s a timeless piece of wisdom. But the poet and artist could never have imagined in his wildest dreams that with a few plastic cards and a smartphone you could take your bank on the road with you. On my four-month trip around the world, I was able to do my banking as usual with the UBS Mobile Banking App, monitor my budget – and sometimes really put the app to the test.
Mexico – or the curse of the ATM
“It’s Montezuma’s Revenge.” Anyone mentioning the great Aztec ruler in this way usually has a nasty case of travelers’ diarrhea. The “curse of the ATM” is less well known. In Mexico, unlike in Switzerland, the machines rattle out your money first, and only then, very slowly and silently, return your card. I was already back in the hotel when I realized that my Maestro card was probably in the hands of strangers by now. What to do? Using the free WiFi in the hotel lobby, I instantly logged in to the UBS Mobile Banking App. One click and I was called by customer service who quickly cancelled my Maestro card. Credit cards and prepaid cards can be blocked directly from the app. I immediately transferred money to cover the last invoice for my Mastercard®, which I had with me. The credit was available within a few minutes.
Sri Lanka – wait and drink tea?
The black tea at “Lipton’s Seat” in Sri Lanka is unparalleled. This is probably because you have to earn it first by climbing to 1,970 meters above sea level. While the caffeinated drink slips gently down your throat, you have a breathtaking view of the evergreen tea plantations on the hills. The downside? Back in the mountain town of Nuwara Eliya, I was hungry and couldn’t withdraw any more money with my new Maestro card. “Transaction limit reached,” exclaimed the ATM. I thought for a moment: that month I’d bought some furniture in Switzerland – and the month was far from over. No problem. In the UBS Mobile Banking App you can increase your Maestro limit with just one click, and lower it again at any time. I did all this on a restaurant’s WiFi network, sipping a cup of strong black tea.
USA – planning on the bus
Sixty-five million years ago, nature started work on what is now the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River ate its way through the plateau bearing the same name, clearing everything in its path. My bus trip through Arizona was far less dramatic. Onboard WiFi let me book accommodations and excursions from the comfort of my seat. Even more practical: in the UBS Mobile Banking App you can select events to be notified of – by e-mail, push message or SMS. That way I always knew whether my next hotel had confirmed my booking, and whether I’d been charged yet for the flight I had booked over the Grand Canyon. Plus, you can set up a personal budget in no time. Unlike the mighty Colorado, the flow of cash can sometimes run dry very suddenly.