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Tips and Advice when opening a Mexican bank account

Opening a bank account in Mexico might be wise when you spend more time than just a holiday in Mexico. In my previous post, I write about the benefits for me that made it valid to open a savings and checkings account at HSBC Mexico.

When you have decided to open an account you might want to think about the following:

Tips and advice

  • Every bank in Mexico has its own set of rules, exceptions to the overall rules and additional regulations, and experiences in opening a bank account may differ from city to city and even from branch to branch.
  • It is wise to just walk in and ask, be prepared to spend a lot of time going back and forth
  • The minimum requirement for opening a bank account for foreigners is: have an FMM or Resident Permit, A valid passport, and a utility bill not older than 3 months.
  • Most banks require a minimum deposit of 4,000 pesos, which is for some accounts also the minimum amount to be in the account otherwise you pay for services.
  • Not many banks accept tourists using FMM although their website states you can.
  • In Mexico, like in any other country bank laws and rules change every year, so what is possible now, might not be possible in due time.
  • Make sure you know what you need from an account, banks will sell you the most profitable account for them, which might not be the right account for you.
    In my case, this meant: online access, a phone app, security for my finances, an international card, transferring money to and from this account internationally.
  • Not all banks are Banks in Mexico, make sure you are at an actual acknowledged bank and your money is secured by the Mexican Central Bank.
  • Paypal and your bank account, due to a new law in Mexico, PayPal is no longer the PayPal you may be used to. You cannot store money on your Mexican PayPal account. It is merely a payment gateway and therefore very expensive to use. Every penny you receive on your Mexican PayPal is automatically transferred to your bank account. Without you approving it.
  • Not every bank employee speaks English, you have to speak Spanish to understand what kind of account you are opening and what the legalities around that account are.
  • In most cases you can add a beneficiary to the account, someone that will be in charge or will inherit the money after you have deceased. This beneficiary does not have to have an account with the same Company but needs to identify him or herself with a passport and Visitors Permit/Visa.
  • Bank accounts may require 5 working days before you can use them, they need approval from higher up. You might need to give some insight into finances abroad to establish your credit rating or hand in a credit rating from your current bank.
  • It will take up to 6 months before you can transfer money out of Mexico from your Mexican account. You can receive money, and do national bank transfers, but international money transfers can only be done after 6 months.

Read all my posts on opening a bank account in Mexico: