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Mexico - Banking
Like in most other countries, banks in Mexico offer current accounts, saving accounts, investment accounts, debit cards, direct debits, credit services, personal loans, and overdraft facilities. The local banks will also accept payments for utility bills as well as taxes (local, state, and federal).
Foreign residents in this country can choose to hold one of these three account types:
Peso denominated checking account: Investors of all nationalities are offered a wide range of interest-bearing and regular accounts, which allow them to manage their money and earn an income. The minimum opening deposit for these accounts could range anywhere between US$500 and US$1,000 depending upon the account type.
US Dollar checking account: These accounts are usually only offered to American and Canadian nationals as well as corporations. The interest rates for these accounts are much lower to the US. The minimum opening balance for these checking accounts varies.
Certificate of deposit: Such accounts are regarded as instruments that give the investor the best returns in the market and are guaranteed by the issuing bank. These are offered only in Pesos. The minimum opening deposit for these accounts is higher.
There is a considerable difference in the fees and services for each of these accounts. Expats should therefore look at all possible options before deciding on which account to open.
While the dollar checking account is only for Americans and Canadians, expats of all nationalities can access the money in their overseas accounts through a Mexican ATM as long as they have an international debit card. The downside is that there is an additional fee levied on all withdrawals from these accounts. Expats who plan to use their accounts for daily transactions should therefore open a checking account that uses only pesos.
In order to open a local bank account, an individual must provide:
• Residence visa
• Address proof (local)
• Two references
• The minimum deposit
For years now, the banks in Mexico have been infamous for three things: excessively high (not to mention complex) charges, high borrowing rates coupled with low rates on deposits, and poor customer service. Fortunately, this is undergoing a change as international banks have come into the picture.
The largest and most popular local banks in Mexico include Banamex, Banco Santander, Banorte, and Bancomer. International banking organizations like Barclays, HSBC, and Scotia have also gained popularity, especially with the expat population.
Tel: 1 800 021 2345 / 1 226 26391
Tel: 1 800 1122 9990
Tel: 1 800 712 4825
Tel: 1800 704 5900
Details about their services and contact information are mentioned on their websites. For a detailed list of all the banks affiliated with the Mexican Banking Association, click here. The websites are usually bilingual, though not all customer service representatives are fluent in English. The paperwork is in Spanish too, but foreigners can get the forms translated.
All the larger establishments accept major credit and debit cards. The small stores, however, only accept cash. In Mexico, interest on credit cards is very high, around 30% to 40% per annum. In most cases, an expat can only obtain a credit card from a bank in which he or she already has an account. If the applicant cannot provide proof of good credit history, the bank will require a deposit to secure credit card payments. Mexico has a good network of ATMs in all towns and cities.
All the major banks have internet and mobile banking services, though it may take a while for an individual to get the account up and running online. People of all ages are gradually moving to online banking for maintaining accounts and paying bills as this saves them a lot of time and effort.
Read more about this country
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