Banking and Bill Paying in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico
Both these endeavors (as I had mentioned in a previous blog) can be very challenging indeed.
This was not the case today. I set out this morning to go to Chapala to try to pay my property taxes and get some money into the hands of our daughter in London. Although she was equipped with a credit card to cover her living expenses until money from gainful employment kicked in, for some reason the card was rejected at every ATM she tried even though the credit card company assured me everything was swell with the card and the credit.
So equipped with the Banamex account # of her boyfriend I went with trepidation to try and make a cash deposit into his account which they could access with his debit card for said account. Now if you have ever tried to make a deposit into a Mexican bank account the expression “easier said than done” immediately springs to mind. Usually you need some kind of picture identification and whatever you take with you is not the correct one they need. This, of course, can be very frustrating as you are trying to put money into the bank not stage a heist.
Today at Banamex in Chapala I was very happily surprised. First, I got a parking spot right across from the bank and went in and took my number. Often, you are able to get a bite of lunch and do a bit of shopping and still have plenty of time before your number is called. Not so today. I got # 34 and # 31 was being served. I barely had time to take the money out of wallet that I was hoping to deposit before it was my turn.
The teller actually smiled at me and made the deposit with dispatch into the correct account.
Buoyed by this success I decided to try and pay my property taxes while I was there.
I walked into the Municipal Office (the old Hotel Nido beside Bancomer) and showed my last year’s property tax bill to the person behind the first caja (cage). She showed me where to go to extract yet another number and it was 849. Number 847 was being served and I could not believe my good fortune. I gave my receipt to the girl in caja 2 in minutes and was sent to caja 3 where I was next in line. I paid my taxes happily getting a discount which is available until the end of February.
All of this was accomplished in very short order and I drove home delighted. I remember the days when I would be fuming driving back from Chapala because usually any banking or bill paying in Ajijic, Lake, Chapala could literally take days and increasing my blood pressure markedly into the bargain.
We have come a long way in our little village in the sun. Our daughter has funds in her hands the same day. All in all the services in Ajijic, Lake Chapala are definitely improving. Life is good.