TOKYO -- "Welcome to our bank!" chime the three uniformed clerks as customers enter Mizuho Bank's branch in Tokyo's Tanashi neighborhood.
The friendly, highly experienced clerks stand ready to help customers fill in the various forms required to open an account, make a large withdrawal, transfer funds or take out a loan. Even in the digital age, such tasks can require plenty of time-consuming paperwork. To confirm their identity, customers are also required to present a hanko, or personal seal.