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Baja Banking and Money Info

Re Banking Here in Todos Santos, Mexico I have a BaNorte peso account here and a Wells Fargo Bank account in the US. I pay US bills via WFB and receive US deposits there. Recently, WFB instituted a Remission Account with BaNorte which allows WFB money transfers to BaNorte overnight. I can move up to 3 thousand dollars into the Remission Account up until 3:00 PM and the money will be transferred overnight to my BaNorte account and is available here the next day in pesos. The charge is minimal. It works just fine for me! - Paul Shortell

MONEY TRANSFER - There is a much better way to get money here. We use Intercam. It is a company in Cabo that is a professional money exchange place. All I do is write them a check on my US credit Onion account, (yes, you can use a bank check also) and get pesos back at a better rate than the bank will give for exchanging money. No additional fees involved, and the check can be for large amounts. Four items are required: A personal letter of reference, a copy of your passport, proof that you live here (like a utility bill in your name, or fideo), and a canceled check or deposit slip with your bank account #. purkeybh (-at-)

DEBIT/ATM CARD TIPS - IF you are going to use a Debit or ATM card, to get cash from the cash machines here in Mexico or anywhere. Have the cards attached to a separate checking account. Be sure that you do not have overdraft protection on the account the card is attached to. IE: Line of Credit, or a Savings account. Many banks automatically add this. Only electronically transfer funds into this account as needed, sufficient to cover the withdrawal, or the transactions you are going to immediately use the card for. This way if your card is compromised, you can only loose a small amount of money until you get reimbursed from your US bank. If you are married, you each should have a card so that if one is lost, you still have access to the account until another card is acquired. If you are going to use a credit card, or carry a lot of cash, good luck. - Don Ballentine papabear ( -a t- )

Wells Fargo has been wire transferring money to our Scotiabank account for over two years. They emailed me some PDF forms which I filled out and emailed back. When I want money (no limit here up to all that's in my account) I email them, they confirm with a call to my Vonage number and the money is there. Scotia has a very good website so I can verify that the money arrived immediately. Ann Hazard cookbaja (-at-) - Courtesy Baja Pony Express

Banorte ATM - Great news everybody!! We now have another ATM here in town. It is located just inside La Coronela Restaurante in the Hotel California. The hours to access the ATM will be the same as our restaurante...7 am to 11 pm - Debbie Stewart, info ( -a t- ), 612.145.0525

12-30-06 CASH IN MEXICO - Every so often someone asks how you get cash down to Mexico. We have lived here almost full time for 19 years. Bank to bank transfers we have found to be expensive, plus the accounts normally are not free. We closed our Mexican account over 10 years ago. Cash Machines are not infallible, even in the US, but they are handy, and normally you don’t have to have large amounts of cash on hand. With the ability of online banking, most problems with cash machines can be identified quickly, and be resolved within three or four days. IE: Funds returned to your account. We have two accounts set up in the US so we can withdraw up to $2,000.00 US dlls in Pesos per day. We have had only 5 different occasions in 15 years where there were problems. The last was about a week ago, and the money is back in our account. Tips: Use a debit card attached to a checking account that cannot be overdrawn. Your bank can do this. Electronically transfer funds into this account only as needed. If you have a savings account with the same bank it takes only a few minutes. Do not have your savings account attached to your checking account for overdraft protection. Have more than one debit card account if needed. Limits can be set up to $1,000.00 per card at most banks. Some machines will only give you $300 dlls in pesos, but you can immediately repeat the withdrawal until you reach the limit set at your bank. The type of cash machine that you just slide your card through is the safest. If you make an entry mistake on the other type they can eat your card. “Not give it back,” not good. Otherwise it is a good idea to use a machine at a bank. If it eats your card, you should be able to get it back. Within a few minuets of a cash machine transaction it should show up on your US account. Check it ASAP. Especially if there are no pesos, or the incorrect amount dispensed. Be familiar with the problem resolution forms for your Bank. Usually you can fax the form to them, and then mail in the original. It has not been necessary to have an account here in Mexico for your FM3. They have been accepting our US Bank statements for over 10 years. - Don Ballentine. papabear ( -a t- ) (Courtesy, Baja Pony Express)


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

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