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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 7:04 AM


Now downgraded to a tropical depression as it passes Cabo. Never thought a depression would make me so happy...


I have been paying bills to my Mexican suppliers via Banorte fund transfers for about the last year. It is very smooth once you get setup but setup is complicated. Start by going to the bank. You don't have to have a card, just a checking account. You sign 8 or so forms, set up a password, and then they give you a little key with a battery-operated number on it and the number changes every 30 seconds or so. When you enter the site you will have to enter the current number. Highest tech security arrangement I've seen yet.  Janet Howey


I have just done this with Banorte.  To use Banorte's online transfer, you have to go to the branch and sign up for and receive a 'token', a little keychain sized widget that has a 6 digit serial number stamped on the back, and which generates an unpredictable (and thus secure) series of 6 digit numbers in a display on the front, a new one every minute (this also exists in Europe, and is way advanced over US banks -- the lack of this in US banks is why they have no way to authenticate you to allow you to transfer money OUT of an account to a third party).  The token costs a few bucks a year, not much.  You will choose a username and a password at the bank, and Banorte will then email you a magic code. 

Then you go to, and select Banorte por Internet (BxI) from the 'elige un servicio' pop down in the upper right corner, then click 'Activa su TOKEN' in the lower left area of the page, and you will get a screen where you enter the code from the email, and then the serial number and live code from your token.  You will get an email confirming your efforts to activate.  Then you synchronize the token, which is the 'Sincroniza tu TOKEN' link on the BxI page just below the Activa link.  At that point, you enter the serial number and the current and next code generated by the widget, and you are then ready to log in.  Make sure you use the BXI Avanzado tab on the left side of the BxI page.  Normally, you would need to resynch daily or so, because the token gets out of step with the central system (they generate the same sequence of numbers, but the token clock isn't as accurate as the server's clock).  This procedure hit a snag a few days ago, but seems to be working now.  The snag was that the synchronizing feature on the web site wasn't working, it kept telling me I was entering information wrong.  I called support (they are very good about having English speaking operators available) and they said it was down but they would fix my token, and that worked fine.  Good luck.

I did a bit of research on this, and there is one way to hack these tokens, and that is by phishing.  There are (Russian, naturally) phishing sites that generate an email that takes you to a site that gets your token value(s) and immediately, before the value can expire, gets money out of your account using a computer program that is fast.  But this isn't a token failure, it is a trap that credit card holders get lured into every day, and is avoidable using the usual anti-phising advice.

It appears you can use this feature on Banorte to transfer money just about anywhere.  I just now used it to send money from my Banorte dollar account to another person's Banorte dollar account, and it worked fine. One trick I needed help on was to ignore the first zero of the account number on the receiving person's check.  There are two zeros on the check, and only one when you look at your account numbers online.

One more nice feature of the site is, when you complete a transfer, you can save it with a nickname, so you don't have to type in the destination info again. - Tom Gafford


I have a couple of business accounts enabled for  "Banorte en su Empresa" (BEM), and can send pesos easily to accounts in Mexico, and can send dollars to other Banorte accounts.. I pay many bills that way. I haven't tried to send to the states, other than though the branch. I'm pretty sure you need to go in to sign up for the online services. I don't know if it is available on the personal accounts. They do have an 01-800-# also.. - Roc Fleishman
Iker's Café Brown was burglarized the other night and the vandals took his computer with all his data in it. I asked Iker to send a description so people could keep an eye out for it. He'd sure like to get it returned if possible:

My stolen CPU is black with sides of clear acrylic. It has no make, it was a clone. It has blue lights inside the case and on the front panel. I cannot give more info, but let people know to be aware and take care of their own houses and stuff. We need to be organized and keep and eye open to protect each other. Remember what's happening at Las Palmas Beach where there are a lot of robberies, most of them by drug junkies. - Iker, iuslegis (-at-), 145 0813 or 612 140 17 95
Happy, Do you still handle FM3 renewals? I thought I'd ask through BWU in case someone else would like to know. - Lisa Offerdahl
We heard the Callejon really flooded last night and that the Governor saw it during his attending the Pueblos Magicos festivities. Hope that means the road there might get fixed soon. - Alan
Could anyone send me the phone number or e-mail address of the shop across the street from Hotel California exhibiting artwork by Arturo?  There was a leopard-man day-of-the-dead statue near the counter.  Please respond to MorrisDB (-at-) - thanks!!
I am looking to rent 2-3 ATVs for careful use in Todos Santos for the weekend of 10/26-29. If you have an ATV and would like to make some coconuts for use let me know. Jack Hamilton 612 1361355 email jackphoto69 (-at-)