Mar 28, 2007, 9:27 AM
Post #95 of 100
If so, I’ll keep you posted and if it turns out even close to the current US internet connection with Lloyds of Mexico, I’d be happy to at least electronically view, at will, holding from other Mexican banks from the comfort of my home, as opposed to enduring a shroud of doubt.
I know I said I was going to bow out but I felt you might benefit from hearing of my experience with banking over the internet (as opposed to internet banking) in Mexico.
We Have accounts with our brokerage house´s captive bank in the U.S. and Lloyd-Activiner investment house in Ajijic. We also have a savings account at Bancomer in Ajijic. We bank on line at both the U.S. bank and Lloyd with splendid results. There are certain activities we can perform at the U.S. bank and Lloyd over the internet such as making investments or inter-account transfers but that´s about it. We can check our balances and invesment mix every day or every hour if we wish at no charge.
Now, to Bancomer. We spent a lot of time there trying to get on line access to our savings account there so we could check our balances from time to time. It used to be simple to do that there but they have recently made it more complicated - probably to improve security so that´s OK except they make it a bit tiresome with their bureacracy. That´s beside the point. The question is, does one really want internet access to one´s Mexican bank account.
Even though we are designated by Bancomer as "preferred" customers, we have decided against internet banking there or taking their credit card offer. Here is why:
Every time we bank on line, that is, pull up our account balances on the computer, they charge us $35 Pesos plus the attendant IVA. They even charged us $35 Pesos plus IVA when they went on line on our behalf to create the on-line account. We can go in the bank and get our balances or get our balances at any Bancomer ATM for free but if we access our account on line it is $35 Pesos plus the IVA every time. Well, I´m no cheapskate but give me a break. I´m doing them a favor banking on line. I should be charging them $35 Pesos plus IVA.
I do not trust Mexican banks. Not just Bancomer but any Mexican bank. I´ve had quite a bit of money in Bancomer lately because of our home remodel in remote Chiapas where there is no Lloyd-Activiner but that´s the only reason. Not only do they manage to more than service charge away any interest I earn on my savings account but I suspect that any problems that may arise from any credit card they issue me or any on-line banking access they give me will be my fault.
Not speaking of Bancomer now but any Mexican bank including HSBC and Banamex and Banorte and you name it. If you have their credit card or on-line access with them you have just significantly increased your chances of falling victim to either internal or external fraud. This ain´t the United States and your bank down here is not likely to welcome you with warm greetings and open arms when you walk in there and tell them you just had $100,000 Pesos disappear from your account through some mysterious event you fail to comprehend.
Mexico is the land of the implied but never directly spoken:
"Well, this is not my fault and not my problem. What proof have you got anyway? Just what careless and stupid thing did you do to allow yourself to be so vulnerable that you allowed someone to steal your money or, for that matter, how do we know that you are not trying to rip us off . We are a major international bank headquarterd in (London, Bilbao, New York) and just who are you anyway and I´m going to have to call Mexico City and tell them about this problem and I hate to call them because they are national headquarters and think I am just some rube out in the provinces and this is going to hurt our office at annual review time and, oh, God! these expat clients are a pain in the ass and.... Well, we´ll look into it when we can get around to it although this may take some time as we have other priorities. Are you sure you didn´t withdraw this money and just forget about it, old codger?"
All of the above paragraph is summed up as follows when addressing you to your face:
"We´ll look into it ,sir."
You might want to re-think this whole thing.
Lloyd-Actinver, on the other hand, is used to dealing with us foreigners and I have always been treated well and with responsiveness when I experienced problems there. That´s why the bulk of my money committed to Mexico is there.
My Spanish teacher once told me that there was no useful verb "to bank" in the Mexican´s lexicon. Ordinary Mexicans don´t "bank". They are "banked" as a courtesy of the bank but only if remaining properly deferential and respectful. When she found out I call my Mexican branch manager by his first name she was flabbergasted. I told her that I not only called him by his first name but he called me by my first name and always gave me great service when he saw me. However, that does not change the fact that in Mexico in general, the prevailing notion in banking is obvious when things go badly:
" The customer is always wrong."
(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 28, 2007, 9:33 AM)