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Sunday, May 20, 2007

my banking in Brasil

I think that the banking system in Brasil is very sophisticated. It is hard to get a bank account. You have to have a CPF number, a proof of residence (light bill or tax bill in your name with a street address.) and proof that you have some type of income and other assets of value in Brasil. You have to prove yourself to be a person of substance, of character. I have an account at a small national bank. (= I am a person with a small amount of substance)
I am able to go to any branch of my bank, use my bank card to get into the ATM system. Pay the electric bill, the tuition at PUC, get cash, a printout of my account balance, and print checks. Can you imagine, in the USA you can not pay your bills from the ATM (at least you couldn't from my bank in HOUSTON) and to get additional checks you had to contact customer service, order them and in a week to ten days later, the checks arrive in the mail. Yesterday, I needed a check so I went to the bank, used my bank card and printed out 12 checks. I was very impressed.
A quick look at the dark side; every time I put money in or take money out of my account, I pay a tax (or CPMF as it is called), and every time I use my money whether it is cash, check or transfer, I get charged a service fee which is so high it could be considered outright robbery - but the system is convenient, it works and is very sophisticated.

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