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Author: Subject: Found New Non-ATM Source For Pesos
AlanDow
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 08:12 AM
Found New Non-ATM Source For Pesos


Living in Bahia Asuncion has been a challenge when it comes to getting pesos as there is no bank or ATM in town, and the nearest one is in Vizcaino which is a 140 miles round trip (or 3 hours and 10 gallons of gas away). On top of that inconvenience, Bancomer (the only bank in Vizcaino) charges double the ATM fees of other banks (over 80 pesos). Which wasn’t so bad when I could get 15,000 pesos or more per transaction, however as many have experienced recently the banks have been lowering their ATM withdraw limits as a means to generate even more ATM fees (most recently the Vizcaino Bancomer’s per ATM transaction limit was 7000 pesos and the Banamex in Loreto was only 4000 pesos).

There is a Telecom office in Bahia Asuncion where I have been aware that those with Mexican bank accounts can withdraw up to 5000 pesos per day, however it is my understanding that I would need to obtain residence status to be able to open a Mexican bank account, and while I think I may seek permanent resident status someday, it is not something I want to pursue now - so I have been very frustrated with no easy and close access to cash here until my recent discovery of Remitly (remitly.com).

They offer a similar service to Xoom which I have used to transfer money to from my US bank account to the Mexican bank account of people I wanted to pay for services, etc. However in addition to being able to transfer money to a Mexican bank account I discovered that Remitly will also allow you to pick up the cash in person at Mexican Telecom offices (including the one here in Bahia Asuncion). I have since discovered that Xoom also allows for cash pick up at Telecomm offices, however Xoom charges a $5.00 fee versus Remitly’s transfers are free for amounts over $500, and Remitly has better exchange rates than Xoom - a check today found that Xoom is offering 18.10 pesos to the dollar, versus Remitly is offering either 18.13 or 18.32 (Remitly offers a dual rate structure - if you allow them to do an ACH transfer from your US bank and you can wait the 3 day hold period, you get the better rate, versus if you fund via a debit card for instant access to cash, you get the lower rate).

And I was pleased to find that for transfers of this type the local Telecom office will allow up to 30,000 pesos per transaction (versus the 5,000 limit for withdraws from local bank accounts) so no problem transferring enough to take advantage of the “no fee” transfer (any amount over 10,000 pesos). I have done this successfully three times and paid no fee to Remitly, my US bank, or the Telecomm office here in Bahia Asuncion. The first time took a little longer as I had to register as a Telecomm client (just needed to provide my passport with home country address - also you need to show your passport each time you pick up the cash). So I am happy to share this option with others who might benefit from it.
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Udo
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 08:33 AM


Does the local Telecom office actually have $30,000 Pesos available to fund on a regular basis?

They may do as the regular Mexican banks do when the ATMs get low on money...issue limited amounts of cash.




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AlanDow
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 09:05 AM


When I registered with the Telecom office I was told for amounts over 20,000 pesos to expect that they would likely need a day or two notice in advance of me picking up the cash. So far I have had no trouble getting up to 12,000 pesos, although one time when I showed up near closing time they barely had enough cash, so I would not be surprised if sometimes they would not have the money on hand (just like I am not surprised when sometimes the ATM does not work).
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chavycha
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 09:09 AM


Thanks for the find and info, Alan.

Certainly will beat having to drive to Guerrero Negro or Santa Rosalia when the Vizcaino ATMs are pitching a fit.
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 09:17 AM


This sounds like something you may regret sharing. I cant imagine a telecom office keeping enough pesos for every gringo in need in Asuncion.
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 10:40 AM


Not sure where the regrets would come from.....unless Alan cleans out the peso stash in Asuncion leaving others to make the trek to Viz or GN :o ... or if folks start asking Alan to become an interim banker ....

Alan....5% service charge could cover Saturday tacos :light:




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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 11:14 AM


Look into Stellar Lumens. Probably too much trouble at this point but it is the future of person to person cash transfers. Costs a fraction of a penny and settles in seconds.



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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 02:17 PM


How does remitly make money on this transaction?
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 03:13 PM


Quote: Originally posted by motoged  
Not sure where the regrets would come from.....unless Alan cleans out the peso stash in Asuncion leaving others to make the trek to Viz or GN :o


Actually, if many started using the same method, Alan could be the one left out and feeling regret.

Is this office something akin to a Western Union office?
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BajaBlanca
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 04:18 PM


Cash is an issue in our small towns...but the cooperatives support the telecoms so that their workers don't have to drive to Vizcaino or G Negro for money. Our cooperativa in La Bocana regularly makes huge deposits, especially right before the 1st of the month so that pensioners have access to cash.

Thanks so much for sharing this new system! Les is gonna like this news a lot.

On a similar note - we transferred money to the telcomm via wells fargo which charges $5 for any amount up to $1500 dollars. Surprised to find that here in La Paz, the offices are open until 6 pm and open on Saturdays. As long as you transfer less than $30,000 pesos, all you need is your passport to pick cash up. And for amounts over that, you simply need to bring proof of address along with passport.

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[Edited on 2-9-2018 by BajaBlanca]




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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 09:30 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaBlanca  
Cash is never an issue inour small towns...


Ever tried to buy things (other than gas) when all you have are 500p notes?
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[*] posted on 2-8-2018 at 10:09 PM


Quote: Originally posted by chavycha  
Quote: Originally posted by BajaBlanca  
Cash is never an issue inour small towns...


Ever tried to buy things (other than gas) when all you have are 500p notes?


At the co-op "supermarket" it is no problem. I still find myself hoarding 20s and 50s for the "normal markets".;)
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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 07:01 AM


Looking at https://www.remitly.com/us/en/home/partners#Mexico, they say ...

"Recipients can have money deposited directly into most major banks or pick-up cash at thousands of locations across Mexico such as: Bancomer, Elektra, BanCoppel, Bansefi and many more!"

I addition to telecom De Mexico, stores like Walmart and Soriana are in the list.

If anyone is able to pick up cash at a location other than Telecom De Mexico that would be good to know.
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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 07:09 AM


I just signed up with Remitly this morning and nice little bonus is that they are offering 20 pesos per dollar US for my first $500 transfer. 20 per dollar with no fees is a great deal.
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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 07:12 AM


Here in La Paz my students tell me that they transfer monies at any oxxo from one bank account to another.



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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 07:20 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaBlanca  
Cash is an issue in our small towns...but the cooperatives support the telecoms so that their workers don't have to drive to Vizcaino or G Negro for money. Our cooperativa in La Bocana regularly makes huge deposits, especially right before the 1st of the month so that pensioners have access to cash.

Thanks so much for sharing this new system! Les is gonna like this news a lot.

On a similar note - we transferred money to the telcomm via wells fargo which charges $5 for any amount up to $1500 dollars. Surprised to find that here in La Paz, the offices are open until 6 pm and open on Saturdays. As long as you transfer less than $30,000 pesos, all you need is your passport to pick cash up. And for amounts over that, you simply need to bring proof of address along with passport.

Every day something new!

[Edited on 2-9-2018 by BajaBlanca]




You can always come use our Banamex ATM, Blanca.
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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 07:51 AM


Did you find out about Remitly from the link I sent all my friends when someone told me about it? I am very happy with the service although it is not available from Canada...but I didnt know you could pick it up at the telegraph office....kewl!

The issue will definitely be you guys cleaning out the Telegraph office of money. Much of the time they have so little cash they limit transactions to a few thousand pesos...often as little as 2-3,000,so dont count on it that's for sure but it is a great alternative....and a fantastic exchange rate.




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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 08:38 AM


Quote: Originally posted by shari  
Did you find out about Remitly from the link I sent all my friends when someone told me about it? I am very happy with the service although it is not available from Canada...but I didnt know you could pick it up at the telegraph office....kewl!

The issue will definitely be you guys cleaning out the Telegraph office of money. Much of the time they have so little cash they limit transactions to a few thousand pesos...often as little as 2-3,000,so dont count on it that's for sure but it is a great alternative....and a fantastic exchange rate.


Driving a half mile and being told I may have to wait a couple days is better than driving 250 miles and have my expectations violated at the ATM.
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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 09:16 AM


for dumb gringos like me: can someone confirm or set me straight

I open an account with remitly, and put in 500 bucks US - get 19.8 peso per $ (that seems to be the rate) , and load an ap on my phone.

then when i go to Mexico, i use my cell phone to transfer money from the account to myself - and then go pick up the pesos at one of the partners - walmart - etc all of those entities listed. and to pick up the pesos, I show my passport? and no fees charged by the dispensing company ?

am I understanding this correctly?

[Edited on 2-9-2018 by caj13]
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AlanDow
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[*] posted on 2-9-2018 at 11:53 AM


Interesting comments about I might be sorry for sharing due to us gringos overwhelming the local Telecom office? Maybe, however in addition to not being my style to hoard useful info, upon reflection I figure at any one time there are no more than a dozen or so gringo households hanging their hat in Asuncion, and assuming they get out 10,000 pesos at a time (to take advantage of the no fee transfer) and assuming that amount would last a minimum of two weeks before needing another transfer, that equates to an average of only one gringo household withdraw from the local Telecom office per day - doubt much of a problem. And as Ross said no big deal to be turned down and have to try again tomorrow in our own town - versus that happening after driving 250 miles (to Guerrero or 140 miles to Vizcaino).

Shari, I found Remitly on my own via an advertisement by them that they offered a better deal than Xoom (which I had previously) via their better exchange rate and their no fee for transfers over $500. As I looked into them, I saw where they offered cash pickup and so I drilled down to see if by chance Telecom was an option - to my surprise it was listed by Remitly as pickup location. However my hopes were temporarily dimmed when I asked a fluent Spanish speaker to stop by the Telcom office to verify this with them, and they said they had never heard of Remitly. So I decided to just try an initial small transfer to see what would happen when I walked in with a receipt and asked for the money. After some head scratching by them and searching online, they were able to confirm the transfer and give me the money. Things went smoother each time after that.

Caj13, as long as you have access to the internet while in Baja, you do not need to transfer the money before you cross the border. You just go to the remitly website and sign up and choose your funding source - either via giving them your bank routing number and account number so they can do an ACH electronic withdraw, or with a debit or credit card (caution if you use a credit card you will likely pay both a cash advance fee and or a foreign transaction fee to the credit card issuer). You get the better exchange rate if you fund by letting them do the ACH electronic transfer, however you have to set up the transfer 3 days before you need the money as there is a 3 day hold with that option. Also you have to declare at the time you set up the transfer which entity you will pick up the money (versus decide to stop by a walmart or telecom office afterwards) you do not have to pick the specific location just the specific entity - walmart or Telecom, etc. I have only picked up at our local Telecom so cannot speak to how this works at walmart or any of the other listed pickup locations.
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