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Today just got a major slap in the face. That is, another wake up call. Called on just how many hassles you can face in Ecuador-though many are, most of the time, avoidable, they sure are ugly when they hit you in the face.

First, Banco Pichincha, one of Ecuador’s major banks, has had its online transfer service, down for  the last 4 days. The service allows you to move money from one account in one bank to another account in another bank-great for making payments. Of course, they don’t announce this to anyone-I only figured it out by using the online chat service. I’m late on my homeowner’s association fees because of this.

So I figured I’d go to a cash machine and withdraw the cash, then go to Produbanco, another major Ecuadorian bank, to pay the dues. Well, the Banco de Pichincha cash machine was down. So I go to another bank’s cash machine. But it will only let me make withdrawls in $100 amounts, at $0.50 a pop. So I make two withdrawls-I needed $300 but the daily limit is $200. So someone else is going to get paid late.

We then go to a Produbanco branch at the Supermaxi-Ecuador’s chain of supermarkets. But, that branch, I learn, only accepts deposits for personal accounts, but not for business accounts. I head out to the other branch and the line is literally over 50 people or more long, and it’s already 4 p.m. I guess that payment will just have to wait too, that’s two people paid late…like so many things in Ecuador, you need a lot of patience to live here.

  • Stewart

    Hello Jeff,
    Your “Slap in the Face” article is definitely true. I had a similar experience when dealing with Produbanco a while back. I needed a national credit card and cedula (ecuadorian ID) to open a bank account. They don’t accept American Express. Diner’s required a local bank account to issue a credit card. Viscious cycle.
    By the way I’m also from So. Cal. then So. FL now Quito.

Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>


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