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Mexican Banking

I would be the first person to admt that I am not the most patient person on the planet.  Well maybe not the first but certainly in the top 10.  I will also admit to being a Type A personality when we moved to Ajijic, Lake Chapala in 1994.

The first year was a little challenging to say the least but I was so happy with the amazing year round weather that I was able to deal with some major but mostly minor frustrations.


At the top of that list was banking.  When I went to go to the bank to make a deposit they required an array of identification.  I tried to patiently explain I was putting money into the account so I should not need all the paperwork they required.  I, of course, had ID on me but not what they required.  One does not go to the supermarket here with ID of some sort in hand.  Another interesting point is that different people required different identification.

Depositing a US check is a challenge as it can take up to 30 days to clear.  The banks here do not touch Canadian currency in any form.

Our daughter works with my husband and does all the banking.  She, however, was away last week, and some banking fell to me.

I wanted to transfer some funds from one account to another and called my bank manager to make the transfer as I would do in Canada.  I was told I had to appear at the branch in person, with the proper identification, to get the transfer done.

I went to the bank and was there for an hour trying to get this transfer expedited.  I did not have a check from the account that I wished to transfer from with me nor did I have the debit card for the same account.  I said I was not told by the manager that I needed a check and we had never had a debit card for that account.  I was told to go and see the teller and was wished good luck.  Not a reassuring sign as I saw it.

Fortunately, one of the tellers, who recognized me, took pity on me and made the transfer in record time.  Amazing what they can do when they want to.  I thanked him profusely to grease the tracks for future transactions.

When I had to make another transfer today the thought of going again to the bank made me shudder.  So  I thought I can do this online.  I proceeded to go to the site and click on “transfers between my accounts” in Spanish, of course.  Evidently,  it was not going to be a pedazo de pastel (piece of cake) as this did not work.   It would not let me enter the account I wanted to deposit the money into.

As it turns out you have to click on “buy and sell dollars” then “sell” and then and only then will it allow you to enter the receiving account.

I did succeed in making the transfer and was unreasonable elated.

It is easier to do anything online rather than going to the branch wherever possible.

I remember fondly when I was happily banking in Canada and was always asked ” how can I help you?”  and if I needed to make a transfer I could do it over the phone.

Our bank here has known us for the 20 years we have been here but somehow we are always treated like totally intrusive, demanding strangers.  This is why I was so happy one kind teller recognized me and helped me accomplish my task.  Should I ever enter that bank again I will look for him to save myself unnecessary time and the ensuing frustration.

Our bank will reman nameless to protect the innocent.  Us.