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Skip The Bank

After watching how countless hours have been spent by ourselves and our clients at local banks, we’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps it isn’t that important to have a Mexican bank account just because you live in Mexico.

Certainly, if you are running a business in Mexico, you will need a Mexican bank account (and a Mexican accountant and a Mexican lawyer, at a minimum). But if you are retired or have income from another source outside of the country, a bank account here is not necessarily a requirement.

First of all, as we mentioned, there are the wasted hours spent opening the account. Few Mexican banks have service people that speak English well, so even to this day, you will get more done at a bank if you speak Spanish or bring a Spanish speaker with you to translate. And bank accounts in Mexico cost money… there’s usually a per-check fee, as well as a monthly fee, and if you want to bank on the internet, an internet banking fee of a few hundred dollars.

So time is money. And money is money.

You can pay all your utility bills in cash or even at the grocery store or the local convenience store. You don’t need a bank account to buy a home; you can transfer money using services like Monex or other brokerage services that specialize in transferring money between countries and allow you to easily set up an account for that purpose.

If you need daily cash, there are ATMs everywhere. Yes, there are ATM fees, but you get the best exchange rate through an ATM and it is incredibly convenient. We know people that have financed the building of an entire house just through withdrawing money from their ATM on a daily basis as needed.

We’d be interested to know if our readers agree with this theory… do you think you need a bank account here in Mexico just because you live here? Or can you skip the bank?