This is the Ecuador bank and ATM we use in Cotacachi.
Before we look at these Ecuador banking notes, you should be aware that non residents cannot open checking accounts at an Ecuador bank. They can open a savings account.
Visa credit cards work at ATMs operated by Bank of Guayaquil, Pichincha, Produbanco and Banco Pacífico. Each ATM shows the logos of which cards can be used on that machine. We use our regular ATM cash card issued by our Florida bank at this Bank of Pichincha branch (shown above) on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.
The plaza is pristine because it is maintained by the bank.
The bank is next to the police station and the second smaller Cathedral.
Here are some Ecuador banking notes sent by subscribers.
You can add recent experience to your banking info that you can write a check on your US account and send it to an Ecuadorian bank for deposit. Normal mail takes about 5 days to Quito. BUT, you can’t make it payable to the bank with instructions to credit your account. Nope. You have to make it payable to yourself and then, get this, endorse the check. You cannot do, as you would in the US, add “Deposit Only to Acct 12345” — So, you are sending an endorsed check through the mail. This means it is just like cash. This is completely different from anything I have ever seen in the banking world. Then it takes about a month for them to clear the check. Your alternative is to pay about $40 to wire the funds, and the Ecuadorian bank will charge to receive them. Or, you can get a cashier’s check and FedEx.
There are three Cotacachi ATMs. Two are on the main street 10th of August. Here is one of them…the newest of the three.
We are allowed to take $500 a day from the Pichincha ATM and $300 a day from the others.
Ecuador banking like in every country, has its peculiar glitches including with ATMs. Here is another sent by a reader.
Dear Gary, I truly enjoy your posts! We have been lucky enough to find Cuenca to be our perfect Ecuadorian home but I did want to pass on a heads up based on your information today about banks in Ecuador…
When using ATM’s and cash cards in Ecuador, make sure you get your cash from a machine that is in, or at the front door of an open bank. As you receive your cash, check it for smooth feeling bills.
Last November we had the disappointing experience of getting 5 counterfeit $20 bills in our ATM withdrawal of $200. We were using an ATM at the “Parque Calderon” in the center of Cuenca, one of the most visited ATM by tourists in the city. Not imagining that there was any risk we pulled our $200 cash out and proceeded to Spanish class. It was there we were told five bills were fakes (all Ecuadorians who work with money are extremely aware of counterfeit bills as they have to cover the loses from their own pay) We were flabbergasted, especially when the woman at the school told us this had happened three times in the last month.
We called the card provider ( a Credit Union in Colorado) and they told us that as it was not in the US, there nothing they could do.
We went to the bank that owned and stocked the machine eight days in a row (each day we were told the person to see would be in the next day) trying to talk to someone who could/would do anything. It was not until we started using the word “Falsos” rather loudly in front of the crowd in the waiting line (usually about 50 people in Ecuador) that we were finally sent to a manager. The manager set us up with another manager who did not show up for our meeting either, and then another who blamed it all on the main office in Guayaquil. Finally we just marched in and went straight to the top, the bank director who kindly spent an hour showing us that the problem could not have ever happened and that the fakes must have been put in when the bills were packaged in Kansas City by the US Federal Reserve.
Knowing that a $100 loss would be devastating to a typical Ecuadorian family where teachers and policemen make $150 a month, we decided to bring charges against the bank, if only to catch their attention.
Needless to say the case is making its way agonizingly slowly through the Ecuadorian Justice system and we don’t ever expect to see our money back, but we can warn others.
-Avoid cash machines not attached to banks.
-Pull your cash out in a very visible place, preferably with the bank guard watching.
-Rub the bills between your thumb and fingers to feel for a different texture (fake bills are smooth like copy paper).
-If you think you feel any difference, immediately take it to the guard or teller and demand new bills.
Ecuador is an amazing place but even and especially the locals trust the banks and bankers about as far as they can throw them. As you say once bitten twice shy.
Here is Cotacachi’s third ATM.
Jyske ATM Banking in Ecuador
One nifty way to combine global investment management bank and your cash needs in Ecuador is through Copenhagan with Jyske Bank’s VISA debit cards.
This card makes it easy to access cash from your Danish bank account.
Why a Danish bank? As mentioned earlier I do not trust Ecuador banks. On the other hand Danish banks are among the safest in the world.
First let’s examine safety. How safe?
In recent years Denmark has been rated by Standard & Poor’s as one of the safest country in the world in which to bank.
Jyske Bank is well established with a history of over 100 years. Jyske is Denmark ’s second largest bank, with 450,000 clients in Denmark and over 30,000 abroad.
Jyske Bank has over 23 billion euros in assets and also happens to be one of the leading currency traders in the world. Many other large banks use Jyske to handle their off hour currency positions. This means that Jyske is huge when it comes to multi currency activity. In fact their turnover reaches $50 billion dollars a day.
Bank Safety Point #1: A recent Yahoo Canada article shows a survey by the World Economic Forum listed five safest countries in which to bank.
So Denmark is a safe place to bank. Now let’s look at Jyske Bank’s safety rating.
Bank Safety Point #2: On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.
Bank Safety Point #3: Also on Friday 10 October 2008, the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions. The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.
The people at Jyske are common sense bankers. They had minimal sub prime exposure when that scandal broke. Jyske had zero Madoff exposure.
How about service? First of all, Jyske can manage your wealth. For anyone with $50,000 or more to invest Jyske can buy, sell and hold investments from all over the world, stocks, liquid assets, bonds and commodities. They provide full managed or advisory only services. They even lend in multiple currencies to leverage investments for investors with $100,000 or more. Almost no bank in North or Latin America can do this.
Once you have Jyske caring for your wealth, they can then provide a steady stream of cash when you need it…via a global debit card.
Jyske Ecuador & Global Service.
Even US clients who have managed accounts at Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM) can have a VISA debit card.
JGAM opens a specific on demand account with Jyske Bank so funds can be made available via the card.
These cards can provide access to cash anywhere in the world…including Ecuador.
Jyske offers three different cards to match different needs. Each type of card provides considerable flexibility.
US citizens and residents can get more information from Thomas Fischer at Jyske Global Asset Management. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
None US should contact Jyske Bank Rene Mathys at email@example.com
This is good advice for when you are banking in Ecuador that we are happy to share.
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In Cotacachi the weather is always Spring like. Here is our group meeting at the Cotacachi museum next door to our hotel Meson de las Flores.
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