You may have seen the COLUA ads here. (Note that they don’t pay for them — I put them up as a service to both COLUA and AtitlanLife readers.) This post is about real experience dealing with them. I have found their service to be above and beyond what you would expect from a bank (OK, a Credit Union) but, this time, the information is abased on a friend’s experience.
He asked me a bunch of banking questions beyond what I have covered on A42.com. I suggested he head to COLUA and BanRural. He went to COLUA and got all the right answers. I told him he would be talking to Silvia and she knows me. That was a plus. He is going to move here but does not have residency. Thus, he needs a local to be his representative in Guatemala. It’s a banking regulation and the way this generally works is that that person (me, in this case) would need to go there to vouch for him. This intro meant my physical presence wasn’t needed for him to open the account.
The one thing he needed was a utility bill — which is normal. So, I sent him off with my electric bill (and the money to pay it) so that was easy. His biggest concern was if he could deposit a personal check from a US bank. The answer was yes with the warning that the funds wouldn’t be available for 30 days. No surprise there as they have to go through a commercial bank and they are a victim of said banks.
Silvia added that US Social Security payments could be direct deposited. I expect this means they can be sent to the bank that COLUA banks with and then COLUA deals with it. But, in any case, there is another thing that can just happen.
I have been a happy customer of many Credit Unions in the US. It is great to see that same service for the customers tradition exists here as well.