Practical Life in Quito


Bank services in Quito


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Currency

The US Dollar is the currency in Ecuador since the financial crisis in 2000.

However, you can also use Ecuadorean coins as well as American. They both come in denominations of .01, .05, .10, .25, and ¢.50. Paper money is American in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars.

Note that it can be difficult to make change, so try to request money ending in 1 or 5 from ATMs to avoid large bills.

ATM and Credit Cards

In Quito and other larger cities in Ecuador, it is easy to find an ATM, called "cajeros automaticos". Most of them are located outside banks, in shopping malls, or other busy locations.

With international debit cards, you cannot always withdraw money at all ATMs. There may also be a limit on how much you can withdraw. The safest options are Banco del Pacifíco and Banco Pichincha.

All major credit cards are accepted in Ecuador, with MasterCard and Visa being the most common. Credits cards are generally accepted in large restaurants and supermarkets. Note that they may incur a transaction fee of 1% to 3%. Some credit card companies, particularly those of North America, recommend you notify them of your travels.

Exchange

The euro is scarce in Ecuador but can be exchanged along with Peruvian soles and Colombian nuevos soles. Euros receive favorable exchange rate when changing your euros for dollars.

Exchange counter are available at the airport and in the city centre. Banks usually a better exchange rate, with the best rates by taking money directly from an ATM. This depends on your home bank and transaction fees, but investigate fees carefully before agreeing.

Electronic Transfers

Online bank transfers are easy and safe. For an electronic transfer to another Ecuadorian bank you need basic banking information like identification number, phone number, etc.  If completing an online transfer to an account at the same bank, an account number and full name of the account holder are sufficient.  

Open a Bank Account

Anyone can open an account in Ecuador. If you aren"t comfortable in Spanish, bring translator. How to open a bank account depends on your type of visa and the bank.

If you have a work visa or residency visa, you will need a recommendation letter, a copy of your visa/cedula and in some cases and an official document showing your migration movement. Some banks may ask for additional documents and initial deposit.

All banks offer both online and offline services.

Banks

Banks commonly used by expats are Banco Pichincha and Produbanco.

Other banks in Ecuador are:

For recommendations, use EasyExpat's forums as well as Facebook groups like Expats in Quito.

Update 24/01/2019


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